Naqvi’s appointment to hinder Polls: Qureshi

MULTAN: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that Mohsin Raza Naqvi’s appointment as the interim Punjab chief minister will make the polls “controversial” in the province.
Speaking to journalists in Multan, the former foreign minister said that the PTI has serious reservations regarding Naqvi’s appointment.
Last Sunday, Naqvi took oath as the caretaker CM amid controversies and disagreements among Punjab’s political stakeholders. His appointment has not been welcomed by the PTI, who decided to “take to the streets” against the decision.
“We accepted the name suggested by the Opposition in KP for the care-taker CM. In Punjab, we tried to suggest a name which is acceptable for the Pakistan Democratic Movement,” Qureshi said while regretting that no solution to the matter was found.
He said that his party recorded its protest to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the appointment of an interim CM. “As a political par-ty, we have the right to express our reservations,” Qureshi said.
Moving on to PTI’s Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest, Qureshi said that those who believed in the rule of law were surprised Wednesday. He said that an FIR was stated to be the reason behind the ar-rest.
“The truth is that PTI has to be put under pressure,” Qureshi said. He also condemned the appointment of Bilal Siddique Kamyana as the Lahore cap-ital city police officer, saying that an official who tortured PTI workers on May 25 was selected for the post.
Naqvi took oath as the interim chief minister at the Governor House in Lahore on Sunday night. Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman adminis-tered oath to the interim chief minister.
Naqvi — a nominee of the opposition — was appointed as the caretaker CM by the Elect. However, PTI categorically rejected by the decision, declaring “Naqvi” as a “controversial” personality.
The electoral authority’s decision came after the government and the op-position failed to reach a consensus on finalising the name of a caretaker chief executive — the move appeared to kick off a new round of controver-sy in the country.
In a declaration, the ECP said that the meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, made the consensus decision to ap-point Naqvi as the caretaker for Punjab CM.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday reached out to authorities in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, proposing to them dates for the elections — days after caretaker governments were installed in the two provinces.
It suggested elections be held between April 9 and 13 in Punjab, and in KP between April 15 and 17. Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi was sworn

in as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab on Jan 22, while Mohammad Azam Khan had taken oath as the KP chief executive on Jan 21, respectively, af-ter the dissolution of the two assemblies.
The KP Assembly was dissolved on Jan 18 just four days after the dissolu-tion of the Punjab Assembly on Jan 14.
On December 17, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced that his govern-ments in Punjab and KP would dissolve their assemblies to pave the way for fresh elections.