Pakistan names former chief justice Nasir Ul Mulk as interim PM until general e…

Former chief justice of Pakistan Nasirul Ul Mulk has been named the country’s caretaker prime minister to oversee the general elections scheduled for July 25.

“No Pakistani can lift a finger (against) such a name,” outgoing prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told reporters on Monday, seated next to opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah.

The announcement ends weeks of wrangling between Abbasi’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Shah’s Pakistan People’s Party.

“No one’s name was discarded,” Shah told the media. “We have chosen his name on the basis of merit. We took our parties into confidence and decided upon this name. Every name was discussed, and this name was decided upon. It’s a name no one can point fingers at.”

Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk took oath as the 22nd chief justice of Pakistan in 2014. He belongs to Mingora, Swat. His father Kamran Khan was a businessman known for his philanthropic work in Swat.

Prior to joining the bench, Justice Mulk taught at the Khyber Law College of Peshawar University. He is remembered for the way he conducted a contempt case against then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. He convicted the then chief executive for 30 seconds while maintaining the dignity and honour of the court, and left the disqualification issue open to the Election Commission of Pakistan and the then speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza.

Justice Mulk is one of the seven judges who signed a restraining order on November 3, 2007, when Gen Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency and forcibly sent the judges home. Justice Mulk later joined the judiciary on September 20, 2008, under the Naek formula when he took a fresh oath as a judge of the Supreme Court with his seniority intact.

He dissented from a majority judgement while deciding an appeal filed by Mukhtaran Mai for the enhancement of the sentence of her rapists and against their acquittal. He partially accepted Mai’s appeal by setting aside the high court’s verdict of the acquittal of the accused.

Local media reported that hearing the missing persons’ cases, Justice Mulk has always stood firm as a result of which a number of disappeared persons have surfaced.

Mulk, who also served as the interim chief of the Election Commission of Pakistan, will head a technocratic government until elections as the current government and parliament will be dissolved on Thursday.