ISLAMABAD - As the cut-off date of government’s mandated term (May 31) is approaching close, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah initiated deliberations for installation of the caretaker set-up.

The meeting between the two, third on the issue, was held at the Prime Minister House where both leaders also discussed other issues, including the upcoming budget besides names for caretaker prime minister.

Insiders in the Parliament informed The Nation that the government and opposition have plenty of time to finalise the name for caretaker prime minister as the mandated term of the Parliament would be culminating on May 31 and both Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition should decide the name of caretaker PM before it.

These sources said that as the matter was not only concerning the pick of caretaker PM who would finalise his cabinet but obviously the input of both the government and opposition would be in it, despite the fact that in Article 24-A of the constitution caretaker PM would be free in forming his cabinet.

A couple of days back, Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah said that other opposition parties had not proposed any name to him for the caretaker set-up but at the level of consultation between the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition there was no restriction of giving names but in case the matter would not be settled at the first level it would be referred to the parliamentary committee where Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition would be required to forward two names each.

But in case, the committee would also fail to evolve consensus then these four names would be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan which would pick any of these names and notify it within two days time.

In the meeting, Premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shared the opinion of the government and its allies with Syed Khursheed Shah on the names of caretaker prime minister.

Both of them have expressed their resolve to decide the matter at first stage and would not let it go to second or third stage. They agreed on the point that the issues of parliament should be settled in the Parliament and the same should not be allowed to go at any other forum.

Sources said that the two leaders also discussed the budgetary proposals which would likely be announced by the end of this month, most probably on April 27.

The overall political situation in the country also figured in the meeting and in the light of some challenges facing the Parliament certain pieces of legislation also came under discussion.

Following the meeting with Khaqan Abbasi, Syed Khursheed Shah held a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi at his chamber in the Parliament House.

Shah took Qureshi into confidence over his meeting with the prime minister. Both leaders decided to finalise the list of probable candidates for the slot of caretaker PM from opposition side so that the final deliberations with government on the subject would be initiated.

The meeting was also attended by Shireen Mazari and Naveed Qamar.

Sources in the Parliament informed that the names of former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jeelani, former finance minister Dr Hafeez Pasha, former governors State Bank Dr Shamshad and Ishrat Hussain were circulating in the political circles that anyone of these persons could be picked for the slot.