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Former high court chief justice appointed as caretaker PM of Pakistan

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Former high court chief justice appointed as caretaker PM of Pakistan
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Islamabad: Pakistan's election commission has chosen a former high court chief justice nominated by the country's outgoing ruling party to serve as caretaker prime minister in the run up to a historic national election this spring.

The head of the election commission, Fakhruddin Ebrahim, announced the decision to appoint Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Sunday.

The election commission chose Mr Khoso out of four nominees, two submitted by the recently ruling Pakistan People's Party and two by the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N.

Pakistan is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on May 11 - the first transition between democratically elected governments in the country's history.

Mr Khoso, who is 84, belongs to Goth Azam Khan Khosa in Jaffarabad district of Balochistan province and earlier served as Chief Justice of both the Balochistan High Court and the Federal Shariah Court.

After the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition and a bipartisan parliamentary committee were unable to choose a caretaker premier after six days of deliberations, the matter was sent to the five-member Election Commission on Friday night.

A law graduate from Karachi University, Mr Khoso was appointed as a judge of the Balochistan High Court in 1977. He went on to serve as Chief Justice of the High Court during 1990-1991 and as Chief Justice of the Federal Shariah Court in 1994. Mr Khoso's first political appointment was as Acting Governor of Balochistan.

He served in the post for three months after the death of Governor Muhammad Musa in 1991.

He was serving as Chairman of Balochistan's Zakat Council before his appointment as caretaker premier.

One of Mr Khosos's sons, Amjad Khan Khoso, is linked to Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party, while another son, Mehrab Khan Khoso, was elected as a member of the Balochistan Assembly on a PPP ticket in the last polls in 2008.

Mr Khoso has not been linked to any controversy during his long judicial career.

He is also respected by Baloch nationalist leaders and analysts believe this may help him in getting separatist elements to participate in the election process.

Agencies

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