Islamabad - Newly appointed caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk said on Friday that holding transparent elections was his top and foremost priority.

“Mark my words, general polls will be held on time,” Justice (retd) Mulk said while speaking to the media after taking the oath of office at President House.

He said that he will work according to the mandate given to him and added “today is his first day at the job and he is starting work right away”.

To a question, he said that the size of caretaker federal cabinet would be small and also expressed good wishes for his predecessor Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Earlier, President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to the interim prime minister.

The ceremony was attended, among others, by outgoing Prime Minister Abbasi, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, members of the former cabinet, governors of four provinces and services chiefs.

Mulk assumed charge as the nation’s 29th prime minister after the PML-N-led government became the second civilian government to complete its tenure at midnight on May 31. Mulk is the seventh caretaker prime minister of the country.

Earlier, outgoing prime minister Abbasi was also presented a guard of honour by all three services.

Later, on arrival at the Prime Minister’s House, a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces presented a guard of honour to the caretaker prime minister. The caretaker PM also met with the staff members of the PM House. In his first decision, he changed his Principal Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad.

Mulk, popular as the ‘English’ judge, was noted for exercising judicial restraint with emphatic support by the legal fraternity.

During his tenure as the country’s chief justice, he did not initiate any suo motu proceedings. After his retirement, when lawyer Raheel Kamran Sheikh asked Justice Mulk why he did not take suo motu notices, the latter replied that “if a judge takes suo motu notice, it means that he has already decided to move in certain directions and cannot act impartially”.

Mulk also headed the bench that rejected the plea to disqualify former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly lying on the floor of the National Assembly. He, along with two other fellow judges, accepted the task of probing rigging claims in the last general election and headed the judicial commission for the purpose.

Mulk was among seven judges who had passed restraining order against the November 3 emergency and the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). He was also among those judges who had refused to take oath under the November 3 PCO in 2007.

The former chief justice also delivered an 88-page judgment in the 18th and 21st amendment case. In the verdict, he declared that Parliament was authorized to introduce any constitutional amendment. This, according to the judgment, could not be challenged in any court of law.

He, along with two other fellow judges, accepted the task of probing rigging claims in the last general election and headed the judicial commission for the purpose. All major parties had praised his conduct during the proceedings of the inquiry commission. After spending 86 days, the CJP had rejected the rigging allegations.

Seven judges who signed a restraining order on Nov 3, 2007, when Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf imposed the emergency and forcibly sent the judges home.

Justice (retd) Mulk later joined the judiciary on Sept 20, 2008, under the Naek formula when he took a fresh oath as a judge of the Supreme Court with his seniority intact.

Justice (retd) Mulk dissented from a majority judgment while deciding an appeal filed by Mukhtaran Mai for the enhancement of the sentence of her rapists and against their acquittal.

He partially accepted Mukhtaran Mai’s appeal by setting aside the high court’s verdict of the acquittal of the accused on April 21, 2011.

While hearing missing persons’ cases, Justice Mulk has always stood firm as a result of which a number of disappeared persons have surfaced.

Justice Mulk resigned from the post of the acting Chief Election Commissioner the day he was designated as the next chief justice.

 

 

After taking oath, PM Mulk vows on-time polls