New interim KP Chief Minister sworn in

Justice (retd) Arshad Hussain Shah is appointed as the interim chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) following the death of former interim CM Azam Khan. The K-P Governor, Haji Ghulam Ali,administered the oath of office of Justice (retd.) Arshad Hussain Shah . However, the PTI party plans to challenge this in court.

Earlier, Mahmood Khan, the former K-P chief minister, and Akram Khan Durrani, the former opposition leader, met to decide on the new interim chief executive. They agreed on Justice (retd) Shah’s name and sent the recommendation to the governor, who approved it. According to the Constitution, Justice (retd) Shah will serve as the caretaker CM.

Justice (retd) Shah was previously the interim law minister and chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan in Azam Khan’s cabinet. The late Azam Khan’s cabinet will continue with the same members under Justice (retd) Shah.

The province faced a constitutional crisis when Azam Khan passed away, leading to the dissolution of the cabinet. The governor took temporary charge, inviting Mahmood and Durrani to consult for the new caretaker CM under constitutional provisions.

The legal process for appointing a new caretaker chief minister raised complexities. According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, either the former chief minister or the opposition leader was responsible for the appointment. If there was a disagreement, the matter would go to the ECP for resolution.

Former advocate general Shumail Ahmad Butt explained that the caretaker chief minister would be jointly appointed by the former CM and the opposition leader within three days. If there’s a deadlock, the matter goes to a committee or the ECP.

The late Azam Khan’s passing marked the end of his 9.5-month tenure as caretaker K-P chief minister, a record in the country’s history. The PTI announced it would challenge the new interim CM’s appointment, claiming it was unacceptable and against the Constitution. They argued that the governor, Mahmood, and Durrani should not make their own rules in this matter.