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Kakar sworn-in as head of Pakistan’s caretaker government

Anwaarul Haq Kakar has been sworn in as the 8th interim prime minister of Pakistan.

The 52-year-old Kakar, clad in a grey suit, was administered oath by President Arif Alvi on Monday in a ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr ( President House) in Islamabad — which coincided with Independence Day, reports The Dawn.

The oath-taking ceremony was attended by Chief of Army Staff Asim Munir, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza, Naval Chief Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi, Inter Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Prominent among others who attended the ceremony were ex-National Assembly speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, PTI Senator Shahzad Waseem and PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi.

After taking oath, Kakar also met officials of the armed forces and shook hands with them. He was also presented with a guard of honour later.

His first task now as the interim premier will be to choose a cabinet to run the country as it heads into an election period.

Kakar was announced as the interim premier on Saturday, following meetings between Shehbaz and former opposition leader Raja Riaz and several days of speculation about the probable choice for the post.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Shehbaz had expressed confidence that Kakar would ensure fair elections. He said the “trust reposed by all parties in Kakar’s name proves their proper choice as the upcoming caretaker PM is an educated person and a patriot”.

According to the PML-N president, Kakar was decided upon under a constitutional process as he was the “most suitable person” to head the interim set-up.

Senate chairman accepts Kakar’s resignation

Earlier in the day, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani accepted Kakar’s resignation from the upper house of the Parliament.

Who is Anwaarul Haq Kakar?

Anwaarul Haq Kakar, who hails from Qilla Saifullah, was one of the original architects of the Balochistan Awami Party. He is the second person from Balochistan to spearhead the interim set-up after Mir Hazar Khoso, who became the caretaker premier in 2013.

His appointment comes with less than a year left in the completion of his six-year term in the Senate, which will conclude in March 2024.

While he does not hail from a traditional political family, earlier some of his relatives had been actively involved in politics.

He has remained the chief spokesperson of the party, which also formed the government in Balochistan after the 2018 elections, and represented BAP in the Senate as its parliamentary leader for more than four years. He lost the role following a party reshuffle earlier this year.

In the Senate, he remained part of key standing committees on finance and revenue, foreign affairs and science and technology, and also served as the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources.

Born to a middle-class Pashtun family on May 15, 1971 in Qila Saifullah, a district bordering Afghanistan, Kakar is fluent in English, Persian, Balochi, Brahvi, and Urdu, as well as his native Pashto.

Kakar attended a private school in Quetta for his initial education and was later admitted to Cadet College Kohat for intermediate studies. He returned to Quetta and graduated from the University of Balochistan, subsequently obtaining a Masters degree in Sociology and Political Science.

After completing his education in Pakistan, he went to the UK for a law degree, but returned without completing his studies.