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Caretaker CM: Qaim gets list of five MQM candidates

KARACHI, March 15: The main opposition party in the Sindh Assembly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on Friday submitted five names for the post of caretaker chief minister to CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah for consideration.

Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Syed Sardar Ahmed told reporters that the MQM proposed the names of retired justices Nasir Aslam Zahid, Dr Ghous Muhammad, Muneeb Ahmed Khan, Mahmood Alam Rizvi and Barrister Habib-ur-Rehman.

All the five persons nominated for the post of the caretaker CM by the MQM belong to the Urdu-speaking community.

Mr Ahmed said that the MQM would consult the ruling Pakistan People’s Party on its proposed names to reach a conclusion.

He said that the names were yet to be finalised by the PPP and would be conveyed to the MQM upon return of the CM from Islamabad.

Mr Shah left for Islamabad on Friday to consult the party leadership on the names of the caretaker CM in Sindh.

The leader of the opposition said that the fate of the Sindh Assembly would become known after the return of the CM probably on Sunday night.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and the National People’s Party had suggested names of Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Khair Muhammad Junejo and Muhammad Aslam Sanjrani for consideration as caretaker CM.

The PML-Likeminded named former Chief Justice of Pakistan Syed Sajjad Ali Shah, Dr Muhammad Azim Almani and retired Justice Sadiq Leghari for the slot.

However, Mr Ahmed said: “We are also talking to other opposition parties on our proposed names. We are clear and making every move to bring a consensus caretaker CM within the stipulated timeframe.”

The following are brief sketches of the five candidates proposed by the MQM.

Retired justice Nasir Aslam Zahid was born in 1935 and remained associated with the judiciary for more than five decades. He became the chief justice of the Sindh High Court in 1992 and was later appointed judge of the Supreme Court. He was among the few judges who preferred to resign from the apex court rather than take the oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) of former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf.

Dr Ghous Muhammad is also a former judge of the SHC and was appointed in 1995. He did his doctorate in law from Karachi University and is currently associated with the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology as the dean of the law faculty. The septuagenarian was one of the members of a tribunal set up to investigate the Murtaza Bhutto murder case. He also headed a one-member tribunal formed to investigate the Oct 18, 2007 twin bomb attacks on the homecoming procession of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Retired justice Muneeb Ahmed Khan was born in 1949. He was elected vice president of the Karachi Bar Association in 1987 and elected unopposed general secretary of the Sindh High Court Bar Association in 2005. He remained a judge of the SHC for some years and also was one of the members of a larger bench that heard the May 12 violence case.

Youngest among all the five nominees, 52-year-old Mahmood Alam Rizvi also worked as an SHC judge. However, he took the oath under General Musharraf’s PCO in Nov 2007. He was among a large number of judges of the superior judiciary who were removed from their office by the apex court in July 2009.

Barrister Habib-ur-Rahman was part of the caretaker federal government which held the 2008 general elections. He was the federal minister of communication. He was the principal of the S. M. Law College from 1988 to 1995. He has been associated with the law faculty of several educational institutions. He was a member of the London Court of International Arbitration as well as the International Bar Association.

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