Justice Nasirul Mulk takes oath as Pakistan's caretaker PM


Islamabad, Retired Justice Nasirul Mulk took oath as the seventh caretaker prime minister of Pakistan at a ceremony held at President House in Islamabad on Friday, hours after the National Assembly was formally dissolved in the lead up to the elections. President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Mulk, who was unanimously nominated for the post by both the government and opposition, with former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi describing the retired judge as someone whom "no one could object to". Top government officials and dignitaries attended the ceremony, including former PM Abbasi, the chiefs of staff, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, and others. Following the ceremony, PM Nasirul Mulk received a guard of honour at PM House.The newly-appointed caretaker PM, while speaking to journalists after the ceremony, said members of the Cabinet would be announced after discussion on the matter, Geo News reported, adding that few members would be appointed to the Cabinet. Mulk said he would make sure that the elections will be held in a timely and transparent manner. "We will fulfil the duty we were entrusted with." The oath-taking ceremony was held hours after the third consecutive National Assembly managed to complete its five-year constitutional term. However, it is only the second National Assembly under civilian rule which completed its tenure, as the NA which came into existence in 2002 had operated under military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf. However, these three NAs have elec­ted seven prime ministers over the last 16 years, which indicates underlying weaknesses in democratic institutions and political parties in the country. Former PM Abbasi spent a busy last day in office yesterday attending the NA's farewell session, addressing a news conference highlighting his government’s achievements at his office and presiding over separate meetings of the Economic Coordination Committee and the Federal Cabinet.