Raja vacates PM House for caretaker

ISLAMABAD: Soon after announcement of the caretaker, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf vaacated the official residence of premiership for the chosen, retired Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso. He was given a farewell guard of honour.

“I have tried to discharge my responsibilities to the best of my abilities as the chief executive of the country,” Mr Ashraf said.

The present democratic dispensation in the country had many challenges, he said as he acknowledged the support of his cabinet colleagues, the PPP and coalition partners and contributions made by the opposition.

He praised assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari for what he called “strengthening democracy in the country”.

He mentioned the failure of the government in improving the security situation in the country, particularly in Karachi and Balochistan.

Mr Ashraf lauded the role of judiciary, armed forces, civil society and the media in strengthening democracy.

He also spoke about the political approach of the previous government to foreign policy and the role of parliament.

Sources in the PM House told media sources that Mr Ashraf appeared to be depressed while leaving the PM House.

Mr Ashraf is facing two important cases in the Supreme Court — Rs22 billion Rental Power Project scam and the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq as chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.

Mr Ashraf held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari before leaving the PM House. According to sources, he wants the PPP’s ticket for a National Assembly seat from Islamabad for his younger brother, Raja Imran Ashraf.