Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar takes oath as caretaker prime minister

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, a former senator and prominent figure of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), was sworn in on Monday as the eighth interim prime minister of Pakistan. This role is held to guide the nation through the upcoming elections scheduled in a matter of months. The oath-taking ceremony took place at the Aiwan-e-Sadar, with President Arif Alvi administering the oath in the presence of notable attendees including former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former cabinet members.

Notable figures such as Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, and other high-ranking officials also graced the occasion. Following the oath ceremony, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar received a guard of honor at the Prime Minister’s Office. Preceding this, outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was also honored with a guard of honor as he left his post.

Expressing his confidence in the interim prime minister’s capability to oversee fair and impartial elections, former Prime Minister Shehbaz stated this sentiment in his farewell address to the nation the previous Sunday. Politicians from both the ruling party and opposition had welcomed Kakar’s appointment, hoping that he would ensure a transparent electoral process.

Kakar’s initial task, as he assumes leadership in a nation grappling with political and economic instability, is to assemble a cabinet to manage the country during the election period, which may extend for several months. With the recent dissolution of the parliament last week, the constitution mandates elections within 90 days. However, the publication of the latest census data earlier this month prompted the outgoing government to request additional time for the election commission to redefine constituency boundaries.

Persistent speculation has surrounded the possibility of election postponement as the authorities work to address a range of concurrent security, economic, and political crises. The nation has been embroiled in political unrest since the removal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as prime minister due to a no-confidence vote in April 2022. The culmination of this upheaval led to Khan’s recent imprisonment for a three-year term in a corruption case. Despite a five-year ban on holding office, Khan is currently appealing his conviction and sentence.

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