LAHORE: Professor Hasan Askari Rizvi took oath as caretaker Punjab chief minister at Governor House.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had nominated the analyst and professor as caretaker chief minister after a parliamentary committee failed to reach a consensus over the proposed candidates.
Dr Hasan Askari is a Pakistani political scientist and military analyst, noted for his work in comparative politics, nuclear weapons and the country’s domestic policy.
Free and fair elections
Speaking to media after his appointment, Dr Askari had said, “No party should worry over the transparency of the upcoming election.”
“We will ensure that free and fair elections are held,” he had asserted.
The caretaker Punjab chief minister had further vowed, “I will not use my position for wrong means.”
Responding to PML-N’s criticism regarding his appointment to the post, Dr Askari had said, “They have a right to express reservations and it does not affect me if they challenge my appointment.”
“I will fulfill my constitutional responsibility,” he had added.
According to ECP, the government had suggested Justice (retd) Sair Ali and Admiral (retd) M Zakaullah’s names for the post, while the opposition had suggested names of Ayaz Amir and Dr Hasan Askari.
The parliamentary committee meeting had ended in a deadlock on Wednesday after the government and opposition representatives failed to agree on one name.
Dr Askari’s appointment
The ECP’s five-member decisionmaking body including Chief Election Commissioner had unanimous consensus over the appointment of Dr Askari in an hour-long session held on June 7, official informed media.
The commission maintained that it could have reviewed Dr Askari’s appointment if PML-N had filed reservations.
ECP higher-ups selected Dr Askari on his strong academic credentials and command over national, international politics, said official.
Dr Askari’s profile
Dr Askari is a renowned political scientist and military analyst who is currently serving as professor emeritus of political science at his alma mater, Punjab University.
He also served as a visiting professor of Pakistan Studies at Columbia University from January 1996 to July 1999.
During 1988 to 1991, Dr Askari served as the Allama Iqbal Professor at Heidelberg University of Germany.
In 2010, the professor was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
He has also published a number of books, including Military, State and Society in Pakistan and The military and politics in Pakistan: 1947 – 1997 among others.