Who is Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar — Pakistan’s new Caretaker Prime Minister?

The Pakistani government named a caretaker prime minister on August 13 following the dissolution of the parliament on August 9, paving the way for the country’s next general elections.

Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar has been named as caretaker prime minister to oversee national elections and official affairs until the new government is elected.

The approval came after a final consultation between outgoing premier Shehbaz Sharif and opposition leader Raja Riaz. “The prime minister [Sharif] and leader of the opposition have jointly signed the advice which will be sent to the president for approval,” the official statement said. President Arif Alvi signed the approval on August 12.

When are elections expected?

Pakistan’s Constitution says that elections must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the lower house of parliament – which happened on Augusts 9, 2023.

Kakar’s appointment comes amid growing speculation that elections, expected to be held this November, would likely be delayed until February 2024. Last week, the outgoing government ratified the results of the 2023 census which claimed that Pakistan’s population is now 241 million. The approval means that new electoral boundaries must be drawn based on the most recent census, which is expected to take six months or more.

Who is Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar?

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar is a little-known politician hailing from Pakistan’s least-populous and resource-rich Balochistan province.

Kakar has been described by his parliamentary colleagues as a “pro-state citizen, and an educated, intellectual, and upright” person.

Born in 1971 in Muslim Bagh in Balochistan, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar completed early education at St. Francis High School. He later enrolled in Cadet College Kohat. He has also earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Balochistan.

He is multilingual and proficient in several languages including Urdu, Persian, Pushto, Balochi, Brahvi, and English.

Kakar is listed as an independent politician by the Senate but is reported to be a part of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). He is reportedly considered to be close to the establishment, according to local media.

Starting his career in Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), he significantly contributed as a founding BAP member and also served as a spokesperson for the provincial government.

The year 2018 marked a turning point in his career with a Senate seat. His six-year term is set to conclude in March 2024. As Senator, Kakar chaired the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development while contributing to various committees including Business Advisory, Finance, Revenue, Foreign Affairs, and Science and Technology.

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