LAHORE: Senior analyst Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi on Friday was sworn in as caretaker chief minister of Punjab in a ceremony held at Governor House Lahore.
Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana administered the oath to Rizvi. Contrary to tradition, outgoing Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif did not attend the ceremony due to illness. No other PML-N leader was also present in the event On Thursday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had nominated the analyst and professor as caretaker chief minister after a parliamentary committee failed to reach a consensus over the proposed candidates.
Dr Hasan Askari is a Pakistani political scientist and military analyst, noted for his work in comparative politics, nuclear weapons and the country’s domestic policy.
After his appointment, Dr Askari said, “No party should worry over the transparency of the upcoming election.”
“We will ensure that free and fair elections are held,” he asserted.
The caretaker Punjab chief minister further vowed, “I will not use my position for wrong means.”
Responding to PML-N’s criticism regarding his appointment to the post, Dr Askari said, “They have a right to express reservations and it does not affect me if they challenge my appointment.”
“I will fulfill my constitutional responsibility,” he added.
According to ECP, the government had suggested Justice (Retd) Sair Ali and Admiral (Retd) M Zakaullah’s names for the post, while the opposition had suggested names of Ayaz Amir and Dr Hasan Askari.
On Wednesday, the parliamentary committee meeting ended in deadlock after the government and opposition representatives failed to agree on one name.
Dr Askari is a renowned political scientist and military analyst who is currently serving as professor emeritus of political science at his alma mater, Punjab University.
He also served as a visiting professor of Pakistan Studies at Columbia University from January 1996 to July 1999.
During 1988 to 1991, Dr Askari served as the Allama Iqbal Professor at Heidelberg University of Germany.
In 2010, the professor was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
He has also published a number of books, including Military, State and Society in Pakistan and The military and politics in Pakistan: 1947-1997 among others. – NNI