Islamabad: Pakistan`s main opposition PML-N party Friday stepped up the ante in negotiations for choosing a caretaker Prime Minister to oversee the upcoming polls by rejecting all three candidates proposed by the government.
Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a senior leader of the PML-N, said his party had reservations about all three candidates proposed yesterday by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
The government had named former minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, banker Ishrat Hussain and retired judge Mir Hazar Khan Khoso as its candidates for caretaker premier.
Khan told a news conference that Shaikh had been the Finance Minister till recently while Khoso was once very close to Benazir Bhutto, the slain former chief of the ruling Pakistan People`s Party.
Hussain did not fully qualify for the post of caretaker premier, he contended.
Stepping up the pressure on the PPP, Khan contended that negotiations could move forward if the government focussed on the candidates named by the PML-N.
At the same time, Khan announced that the PML-N was withdrawing retired judge Shakirullah Jan from its list of three candidates for heading the interim administration.
The PML-N would now back retired judge Nasir Aslam Zahid and Sindhi Awami Tehrik chief Rasool Bakhsh Palejo for the post, he said.
Sources said the PML-N was pushing the candidature of Zahid.
Some analysts too said Zahid was emerging as a front-runner for the post.