Mir Hazar Khan Khosa, an 84-year-old retired judge, will be Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister till a new National Assembly is elected by mid-May. His name was finalised on Sunday morning by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after the political class failed to arrive on a consensus over caretaker premiership.
The announcement was made around noon by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim after the matter was put to vote. Mr. Khosa’s candidature was suggested by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its allies. And, he was voted in four-to-one by the five-member ECP.
Of the four candidates referred to the Election Commission after the eight-member parliamentary committee failed to come to a decision on Friday night, two were practically ruled out on Saturday. As per all indications, the choice before the Commission when it met again this morning was between Mr. Khosa and another retired judge, Nasir Aslam Zahid who was the nominee of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).
Speaking to the media soon after his candidature was finalised, Mr. Khosa said he would invite all political parties for consultation to ensure a fair election. About the size of his cabinet, he maintained it would be small; no more than a dozen-strong.
As news broke about the ECP’s decision, the first concern pertained to his age with the social media buzzing about the fact that the two high-pressure jobs at this juncture – caretaker premier and CEC – were held by octogenarians. Mr. Khosa hails from the Jaffrabad district of Balochistan, and has been the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court and the Federal Shariat Court.