ISLAMABAD - Caretaker Prime Minister-designate Justice (r) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has said that holding of free, fair and transparent elections would be his top priority and he would try to come up to the expectations of the people of Pakistan.

In his maiden chat with media persons here at Balochistan House, Khoso said God willing, polls would be held on time, terming the responsibilities caretaker prime minister a burden on his shoulders.

Khoso minced no words in saying that in case of failure to hold elections on time he would leave the office and go back to his home. “The period of interim government will not be extended at any cost,” he made it loud and clear.

Jubilant Khoso, clad in traditional dress, termed elections a solution to all the issues. He expressed his intentions of holding meetings with all the major political leaders soon.“My behaviour with all political parties will be pleasant and friendly,” he added.

Khoso, around 84, was quite active and responsive to the media men queries and said that he would keep a small Cabinet – with 10 to 12 Ministers – to accomplish the task of holding elections and running day-to-day government affairs.

To a question about the alarming law and order situation in parts of the country, particularly his home province, the caretaker PM-designate said that definitely he would take measures in this connection and would take up the matter with the provincial governments for maintenance of law and order situation.

Asked if elections could be held in Balochistan in a peaceful manner, Khoso said the caretaker chief minister is a neutral and competent person and he would ensure that all the nationalist parties join the process. He said his appointment was significant for Balochistan, adding he would try to take all nationalists on board.

To a query regarding negotiations with the Taliban, Khoso said it was too early to say anything on this critical issue.

He expressed ignorance about the issue of MQM’s reservations over delimitation process in Karachi.

Soon after his notification as caretaker Prime Minister, protocol was immediately sent to the Balochistan House while security was also beefed up. Balochistan House Room No 416, where Justice (r) Khoso has been staying, became the centre of attraction for everyone. A large number of his friends and relatives reached there to congratulate him. 

Khoso has been staying in Balochistan House as he had been holding the post of Chairman of Central Zakat Council. After he is administered the oath of office by the President as Caretaker Prime Minister on Monday (today) afternoon at 1 pm, he would shift to the Prime Minister House.