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HomeNewsKakar sworn in as interim prime minister – DW – 08/14/2023

Kakar sworn in as interim prime minister – DW – 08/14/2023

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Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, a former senator for Baluchistan province, was on Monday sworn in as head of a caretaker government in Pakistan that will oversee parliamentary elections constitutionally due within 90 days.

Kakar is taking over the reins from and with the approval of Shehbaz Sharif, who took power in April 2022 following the controversial ouster of popular ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote in parliament.

In Pakistan, it is customary for a caretaker administration to be appointed for the election period. Parliament was officially dissolved last week.

Who is Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar?

Kakar, who was sworn in on Monday in a ceremony broadcast live on TV, has been representing Baluchistan province in the Senate since 2018.

He quit as the leader of the small Baluchistan Awami Party and as a senator on Sunday after being named as interim prime minister by Sharif and opposition leader Raza Riaz.

Outgoing Premier Sharif said in a farewell address late on Sunday that “I have confidence in the caretaker prime minister’s ability to conduct free and fair elections.”  

Kakar will first have the job of selecting a Cabinet to look after the day-to-day running of the country going into the elections, which some observers feel may be delayed partly owing to the political and economic crises facing the nation.

Among other things, Khan’s ouster has been a major contributor to sharp divisions in the country.

What problems face Pakistan?

Pakistan has been in the grips of considerable political turbulence since Khan, who has since been sentenced to three years’ jail on graft charges and disqualified for five years from standing for office, was removed from power.

Authorities have been taking vigorous action to suppress Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in recent months, among other things by detaining thousands of his supporters and officials.

Despite the fact that Khan, who has appealed his conviction, could not at present run in elections, the PTI party is likely to remain  a potent rival to Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League party.

Pakistan has also been in a state of economic turmoil in recent years, with rampant corruption, the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters all putting its economy under severe strain.

In July, the International Monetary Fund approved a $3 billion (€2.7 billion) bailout package for the country to help stabilize the faltering economy.

Pakistan’s economic turmoil hits poor children hard

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tj/rt (AFP, AP)

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