05/30/2018, 17.02
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Appointment of Nasir-ul-Mulk as caretaker prime minister welcomed before elections

by Shafique Khokhar

The acting prime minister will lead the country until the elections on 25 July and ensure the transfer of power to the new government. Known for his integrity, Mulk also served as acting chief election commissioner of Pakistan in 2013 and 2014. Head of Bishops’ Conference hopes “God will give Justice Mulk passion and courage”.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan (CBCP) has welcomed the appointment of Nasir-ul-Mulk as acting prime minister ahead of upcoming elections on 25 July.

Opposition leader Khursheed Shah suggested Mulk, a former chief justice, during a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, following a meeting with outgoing Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

“The establishment of an interim setup is a positive sign for democracy as the elected government completed its tenure despite many hindrances,” said Samson Salamat, president of the Rwadari Tehreek (Interfaith Movement for Tolerance), speaking to AsiaNews.

“We welcome the decision. He [Mulk] is a respected person. However, the choice of a politician as a caretaker would have been much better than appointing a judge or a bureaucrat,” Salamat explained.

Still, “now the caretaker set up needs to ensure impartiality in every aspect and make sure that the power is transferred to next elected government without any delay.”

Pakistan’s political elites and Mulk’s former colleagues also expressed their support for his appointment.

His fellow judges describe him as a very proactive judge who is very strict about the implementation of law in its letter and spirit.

He is also known for his strictness towards implementation of law and his judgment reflecting a contextualised approach to human rights and discrimination issues.

In a joint statement, NCJP president Mgr Joseph Arshad, NCJP national director Fr Emmanuel Yousaf Many and NCJP executive director Cecil Shane Chaudhry, say that "his appointment will uphold the democratic game in the upcoming general election."

“We are happy that the government was able to complete its five-year term and is moving forward towards another democratic transition. Justice Mulk is one of the seven judges who signed an application on 3 November 2007, restraining the government from imposing martial law in Pakistan.”

For Fr Yousaf, the former Supreme Court justice also served as “the acting chief election commissioner of Pakistan, from 30 November 2013 to 6 July 2014. For this reason, he will ensure the upcoming election is transparent.”

CBCP president Archbishop Arshad is “hopeful and prays that God will give Justice Mulk the passion and courage to successfully conduct free, fair and impartial elections in Pakistan in July 2018. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk is a man of great honor, dignity and grace.”

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