Pakistan: Senator Anwaar-Ul-Haq Kakar’s Role As Caretaker PM And The Path Ahead – OpEd


Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar has been appointed as the Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan, a critical role that comes with the responsibility of overseeing the national elections and managing the interim government. This appointment is an important development in Pakistani politics, reflecting various aspects of Kakar’s background, political influence, and the prevailing political scenario in Pakistan.

Anwar ul Haq Kakar began his career as a teacher in his hometown and later became involved in politics. His deep interest in geopolitics, particularly Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, led him to roles in think-tanks focused on Pakistan’s foreign policy. He served as the spokesperson for the Government of Balochistan between 2015 and 2017 and was elected to the Senate of Pakistan as an independent candidate from Balochistan in the 2018 Pakistani Senate election. Kakar’s active political presence in Balochistan is marked by his association with various parties and institutions. He co-founded the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), leading it to become the largest party in Balochistan in the 2018 general elections, and was a central spokesperson for BAP. His influence extended beyond provincial matters, as he maintained good relations with mainstream political parties such as PML-N and PPP and consulted with former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Balochistan issues.

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi approved the appointment, emphasizing that the caretaker PM should be a non-controversial figure from a smaller province. The decision also aimed to address grievances and the sense of deprivation in smaller provinces like Balochistan. 

Kakar’s appointment comes at a critical juncture, with Pakistan facing a potential postponement of national elections, initially slated for November, possibly delayed to the following year. The country also requires new census data and electoral boundary redrawing, which could have implications for economic stability.

Kakar’s role as caretaker prime minister carries substantial political implications. With the previous premier, Imran Khan, ousted through a no-confidence vote and unlikely to participate due to a prison sentence and ban from office, the political field seems to be in a flux. The selection of Kakar may signal a move towards neutrality in the election process, as the decision was made with input from both the government and the opposition.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a prominent figure of the PML-N, was actively involved in the consultations and final decision to nominate Kakar as the caretaker PM. The decision reflects a consensus between the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, Raja Riaz, suggesting the party’s support for the appointment.

PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla congratulated Kakar, expressing hope for his adherence to the Constitution and legal provisions. This statement may signify a positive reaction from the PPP towards Kakar’s selection as the interim prime minister. Khurshid Shah has emphasized the unity of the committee in finalizing the appointment of the Caretaker Prime Minister, expressing confidence in the chosen candidate’s ability to oversee clean and transparent elections. His sentiment reflects a broader consensus among key political players. Faisal Karim Kundi, articulated no reservations or objections regarding the selection of Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, a stance further echoed by Shazia Marri, who noted that the PPP had delegated the authority to propose the Caretaker Prime Minister’s name to Shahbaz Sharif. 

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Vice-Chairman and former Foreign Minister, has commended the selection of Anwarul Haq Kakar as Caretaker Prime Minister, highlighting Kakar’s educational background and his roots in a small province, which lend him insight into the fundamental issues facing the country. Contrarily, Hamad Azhar expressed concerns over the lack of consultation with PTI, the largest party both inside and outside the parliament, in the decision-making process for the appointment. Despite these reservations, Azhar emphasized the expectation that Anwar ul Haq will adhere to constitutional mandates, ensuring the timely conduct of elections within the prescribed three-month period. This dichotomy of opinions underscores the multifaceted political dynamics surrounding the appointment and the varying levels of confidence in the Caretaker Prime Minister’s ability to fulfill his role.

Despite Kakar’s limited political weight as a newcomer, analysts suggest that his newcomer status might be advantageous for leading the country through upcoming elections. His academic involvement and fluency in multiple languages are noted to add to his profile.

Fawad Chaudhry, echoing sentiments within the political sphere, lauds Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar as a true Pakistani possessing notable educational qualifications and a moderate disposition. Chaudhry’s remark resonates with a sense of optimism, marking this appointment as a positive development for Pakistan after an extended period of time characterized by various challenges.

Sindh Governor Kamran Tesori’s endorsement of Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar as the optimal choice for the Caretaker Prime Minister’s role aligns with broader consensus. Tesori’s congratulations to Anwarul Haque Kakar further underscore his alignment with a collective endorsement of the appointment. 

Senator Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar’s leadership in this transitional phase will be closely observed, as it carries the potential to significantly influence the nation’s economy, security, and political stability. The success of his tenure will largely depend on the transparency and fairness in the electoral process, effective management of security, and adept handling of political complexities. His role in this transitional phase might not only shape the immediate future of Pakistan but could also set a precedent for future political transitions in the nation.

Dr. Sahibzada Muhammad Usman

Dr. Sahibzada Muhammad Usman is a Research Scholar and Academic; Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Pisa, Italy. Dr. Usman has participated in various national and international conferences and published 30 research articles in international journals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *