ISLAMABAD -The eight members parliamentary committee formed for caretaker prime minister could not reach a consensus on the second day on Thursday but it expressed the hope to finalise a name by today (Friday).

The committee members, who reportedly expressed reservations on the nominees of each other at the meeting, posed optimistic before the newsmen afterwards saying they would reach some agreement on the last day.

In the bipartisan committee, the coalition government is represented by Khursheed Shah (PPP), Farooq H Naek (PPP), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (PML-Q) and Ghulam Ahmed Bilour (ANP) while Parvez Rasheed, Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi, Kh Saad Rafique and Sardar Yaqoob Khan (all from PML-N) are representing the opposition in the committee.

The government has nominated Dr Ishrat Husain and Justice (r) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, while the PML-N has finalised the names of Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Rasool Bux Palijo for the post of caretaker prime minister.

The committee meeting on the second day was chaired by PML-N’s Sardar Yaqoob. Sources said it slightly discussed the credentials of Khoso and Palejo, and mainly focused on the names of Nasir and Ishrat.

Sources said that during the deliberations PPP members pointed fingers at the ‘close relation’ of Justice Nasir with Sharif family but the PML-N refuted it. Conversely, a PML-N member tried to link government nominee Dr Ishrat with President Asif Ali Zardari.

They said both sides kept debating on their reservations for around four hours but could not prove any solid evidence to support their claims about supposed impartiality of each other’s nominees, thus pending the matter for the last day of mandated time.

A committee member, desiring not be named, shared that though they were deliberating on the matter independently but they have to receive final nod from their respective party chiefs for any final name.

Talking to the media after the meeting, PPP’s Khursheed Shah said that objections were raised from both on the each other’s nominees but he assured that all these reservations would be addressed during Friday’s meeting. “We have thoroughly discussed the matter in a cordial environment and hopefully we will reach a consensus tomorrow,” he said, adding that they would not let the matter go to the Election Commission.

ANP’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour also gave similar remarks and said that all four nominees from the government side had been discussed and the final evaluation would take place on Friday. PPP legal wizard Farooq Naek said that merits and demerits of the nominees were discussed and committee members would pick the best candidate who would be capable of conducting transparent elections.

PML-Q’s Chaudhary Shujaat said it would be unfortunate if non-political personalities would choose interim PM. “We are hopeful to decide a name on Friday,” he added. PML-N leader Yaqoob Nasir said that four names were deliberated at length and efforts were being made to appoint a caretaker prime minister through consensus.

The parliamentary committee, formulated by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, has one day left to decide about a caretaker prime minister. The final round of the committee in two sessions will start on Friday (10:30pm). If it fails on Friday too, the matter will be sent to the Election Commission, which will then have two days to appoint an interim PM for conduction of general elections.