LAHORE - PML-N President Nawaz Sharif has said the PPP is seeking to make the general elections controversial by appointing caretaker setups of its choice in Sindh and trying to do so in Balochistan.

He urged the Election Commission of Pakistan and the judiciary to take notice of the ‘foul play’ by which the PPP and its allies are having interim setups of their liking, warning the election process would become disputed in the very beginning.

The PML-N would not let the elections become controversial and every method would be pursued to protest against such attempts, Nawaz told the media after presiding over a consultative meeting of the party at Raiwind on Wednesday. The meeting also decided to send advice to the Punjab governor for dissolving the provincial assembly the same day.

Nawaz Sharif said his party had reservations over the names given by the government for the slot of caretaker prime minister. “We want a person who is absolutely impartial, capable, has unblemished character and enjoys trust of the people,” Nawaz said of the traits his party desires in the caretaker PM.

Nawaz said the process of picking up the best one of the four was before the parliamentary committee and if it failed to reach a consensus, or make a majority decision, the matter would be referred to the Election Commission.

The PML-N chief said he was not worried that the selection of caretaker premier would be carried out by the ECP after failure of the parliamentary committee to do so. He said it was a constitutional process and there was no harm if the matter would be sorted out at that level.

He said Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid was the best candidate for this slot. His name had earned countrywide appreciation and he deserved to serve as caretaker prime minister, Nawaz claimed. He added Justice Zahid had no affiliation with the PML-N and was capable of picking up impartial members of the caretaker cabinet.

The PML-N chief, at the same time, criticised the PPP for colluding with its partners to get partial setups in Sindh and attempting to do so in Balochistan. He added the PPP and its allied parties were making hectic efforts to get their men inducted in the cabinets of these provinces. “This is against the spirit of impartiality and fairness and will be countered through all means,” he vowed.

Answering a question regarding PML-N’s relations with the JUI-F which has not been given any representation in the opposition team of the parliamentarians, Nawaz said he was soon meeting Maulana Fazalur Rahman whose differences might be with Ch Nisar but not with his party.

Asked what action would be taken against Pervez Musharraf on his return to the country, Nawaz Sharif said he was opposed to political arrest, exile or execution of any person. Musharraf was in self-exile and no one forced him out of the country, he added.

Nawaz Sharif said the outgoing assemblies were the first which completed their tenure without a military umbrella. He said his party patiently passed the five years for the sake of democracy, but despite good intentions of his party, the PPP failed to come up to the people’s expectations.

He lamented the military dictators had caused a great loss to the country since its inception and defamed it throughout the world. He said, “What we are facing today is the creation of the dictators. Had they not attacked the civil side, the country would not have faced the grievous problems.”

He claimed the PML-N position now is quite different from the 2008 elections when their “hands were tied and a military man was calling shots to suppress his party”. He said now when the elections are approaching, the people are also gearing up for change.