In a significant turn of events, former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, a prominent figure within the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), consulted with both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari before the announcement of Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar as the nominee for the position of Prime Minister, succeeding Imran Khan.
Reliable sources revealed that there was no opposition within the United Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to the selection of Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar. This development raised eyebrows in both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), indicating that the decision was a cause for surprise, whether directly or indirectly.
The sources further disclosed that a day before the official announcement of Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar’s nomination as Prime Minister, former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif engaged in consultations with all key figures within the coalition government.
During these consultations, leaders like Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Sardar Akhtar Mengal did not propose any specific names. Instead, they expressed their stance that the decision of the best candidate for the position of Prime Minister should be left to Shahbaz Sharif. This choice was based on their belief that Shahbaz Sharif would be better suited to determine who would be the most suitable choice for Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar.
During these discussions, only Bilawal Bhutto requested Shahbaz Sharif to communicate with Asif Ali Zardari regarding the matter. After this meeting, Shahbaz Sharif contacted Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the nomination of Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar for the position of Prime Minister. During this conversation, Asif Ali Zardari expressed his preference for seeing Jalil Abbas Jilani in the role of Prime Minister.
Shahbaz Sharif conveyed to Zardari that Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, had proposed Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar’s name. He pointed out that Kakar’s affiliation was with Balochistan, making him a more suitable choice compared to Jalil Abbas Jilani, whose affiliation was with Punjab.
Subsequently, Zardari did not insist on Jalil Abbas Jilani’s name and left the decision up to Shahbaz Sharif. It was reported that Shahbaz Sharif also discussed the matter with Nawaz Sharif and informed him about the nomination of Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar. Nawaz Sharif reportedly did not raise any objections to Kakar’s nomination and left it to Shahbaz Sharif’s judgment.
The sources emphasized that the decision-making process was smooth and that no major disagreements or complications emerged. Contrary to some claims that Kakar’s name had been suggested by the military establishment and that this decision had surprised both the PML-N and PPP, the sources asserted that this notion was incorrect.
It is noted that Sardar Akhtar Mengal was among those who participated in these discussions, having the authority to fully endorse any candidate he deemed suitable for the position of Prime Minister. While a name wasn’t proposed or rejected, the reason for his reservation lay in political differences between him and Kakar.
In the meantime, a reliable source mentioned that just a few days before Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar’s nomination was finalized, Nawaz Sharif reached out to a trusted source. During this contact, Nawaz Sharif clarified that he was unaware of any deliberations regarding the potential nominee for the position of Prime Minister. He indicated his intention not to intervene in this matter. This conversation between Nawaz Sharif and the source took place the previous Friday.