FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
The Holdover Prime Minister
Posted:Aug 2, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The country’s newly elected leader, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, finds himself in an interesting, and novel, position.
 
As the new Prime Minister it is his responsibility to set out an agenda for his tenure, nominate the members of his cabinet and ensure a smooth transition between the last administration and the new one.
 
However, his is not that new administration. Mr Abbasi was elected with the knowledge that he is essentially holding down the spot until Shehbaz Sharif can fulfil the necessary requirements to become Prime Minister. At least, that was the initial stated position. There was a 45 day timer on the job; it would not have been unreasonable to expect Mr Abbasi to continue the policies of his predecessor, attempt nothing new and controversial, and wait out the next month and a half.
 
 
There is increasing speculation on the PML-N leadership’s initial decision; there are rumours abound that Shehbaz Sharif is contemplating staying in the Chief Minister’s chair for the time being, only to assume the mantle of Prime Minister in 2018, after fresh elections. With close confidantes such as Rana Sanaullah arguing against the move, and opposition parties readying themselves to get the younger Sharif brother embroiled in questions of accountability like his brother, the ‘interim’ government might just see out the remaining term without any change at the top. At the moment in any case, the new Prime Minister is here and a confirmation of any change can only come on August 7, when the nomination papers for the vacated NA-120 will be filed.
 
 
In his maiden speech to the National Assembly following his election on Tuesday, the new PM put forward his vision to improve the socio-economic conditions and security situation in the country; widen the tax-net and go after tax-evaders in the Parliament; end the energy shortfall; attempt to revive the agricultural sector and cancel all automatic weapons licenses held by the citizens.
 
 
Despite gallantly claiming that he will do 45 years of work in 45 days, the truth is that his agenda is comprised of lofty – and at the moment ill-defined – goals that cannot be accomplished in this short period of time. Of these, the most self-sustained objective – curbing privately owned automatic weapon ownership – would require a long negotiation with stakeholders and industry interests, before that negotiation has to be replicated in both houses of the Parliament. Even if we are to assume that Mr Abbasi will hold on to the premiership for the next ten months, the job might not get much easier.
 
 
The only thing that is expected immediately however, is to pick a Cabinet, and Mr Abbasi has already begun the process of doing so by paying a visit to Nawaz Sharif in his current residence in Murree to begin consultation on the subject. The current Cabinet of Nawaz Sharif appointees also need to be considered. How many of them would be part the new leadership, and will some of them be included with a fresh face in mind?
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
Senior representatives from the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Muscat, Oman, on Monday to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban, but the insurgent group failed to participate in the meeting being held after a year.
 
read-more
Ruskin Bond’s first novel ‘Room on the Roof’ describes in vivid detail how life in the hills around Dehradun used to be. Bond, who is based in Landour, Mussoorie, since 1963, captured the imagination of countless readers as he painted a picture of an era gone by.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
Braid-chopping incidents have added to the already piled up anxieties of Kashmiris. Once again they are out on the streets, to give vent to their anger. A few persons, believed to be braid-choppers were caught hold by irate mobs at various places. They were beaten to pulp.
 
read-more
Communist parties everywhere gather the ranks every five years to review the past, set future direction, renew political leadership and rejig organisational structure.
 
read-more
In a move lauded worldwide, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud recently issued a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licences.
 
read-more
The death toll from Saturday’s twin truck bombs in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has crossed 300.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive