Pakistani journalist is Punjab caretaker chief minister

Islamabad, March 27 : Well known journalist Najam Sethi has been nominated to lead the caretaker government in Pakistan's biggest province Punjab.

Rana Sanaullah, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said his party had accepted Sethi's nomination made by the rival Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), reports Xinhua.

Sethi appears on a prominent current affairs show on Geo television.

He is also the editor-in-chief of The Friday Times, a political weekly, and previously has been editor of English newspaper Daily Times and Daily Aajkal, an Urdu language newspaper.

According to Associated Press of Pakistan, Sethi's nomination happened about two hours before the deadline Tuesday -- the third and last day for a parliamentary committee to reach a consensus on the matter.

President Asif Ali Zardari felicitated Sethi.

In his message, the president said the nomination was a testimony to the confidence and support extended to him for his ideals and values.

Shortly after his nomination, Sethi told Geo television that he will ensure transparent elections in the province.

He said he will approach the Election Commission and will extend his full support to the panel.

The parliamentary committee in Punjab earlier failed to reach a consensus and the members even announced to refer the matter to the Election Commission.

However, later, PML-N chief and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif intervened and the committee was summoned again. His party agreed on the name of Sethi.

With his nomination, the process of forming caretaker governments has been completed in four provinces and in Islamabad.

Sethi graduated from the Government College University in Lahore. He received a Master's degree in economics at Cambridge University, and spent two more years there at Clare College as a PhD research student.

Sethi won the 1999 International Press Freedom Award of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists and the 2009 World Association of Newspapers Golden Pen of Freedom Award.

--IANS (Posted on 27-03-2013)

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