Moin Qureshi Becomes Caretaker Prime Minister

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On May 26, 1993, the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the Presidential Order of the Assemblies’ dissolution as unconstitutional and ruled for restoring the Nawaz Government and the National Assembly. However, because of the serious differences between the President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, both resigned from their offices on July 18, 1993, along with the dissolution of the Central and Provincial Assemblies.

Moin Qureshi, a top World Bank official, was appointed as the Caretaker Prime Minister and Ghulam Ishaq Khan was appointed as the caretaker President. At the time of his appointment, Moin Qureshi was totally unknown in Pakistan; it was, however, felt that as he was a political outsider, he would remain neutral.

Despite the fact the Moin Qureshi was new to the economic and political environment of Pakistan, he made his presence felt during his short tenure of 90 days. During this time he undertook numerous steps, which were appreciated by the general public. One of the steps included his effort to expose the misdeeds of the previous governments by publishing the lists of defaulters of bank loans and taxpayers. These lists exposed a number of affluent persons who were involved in abusing the banking system and dodging the tax collectors. Moin Qureshi made the State Bank of Pakistan an autonomous body with an effort to keep out political interference in the working of the bank. He took numerous other steps including the imposition of a nominal tax on agriculture, making Pakistan Television and Radio Pakistan autonomous, downsizing of the administrative machinery and abolishing the discretionary power of the Prime Minster and the Chief Ministers of allotting residential plots to their favorites. It goes to his credit that he undertook various endeavors in a short period of time and made a serious effort to recover Government dues.

The only blot on Moin Qureshi’s tenure as Prime Minister was that, in his last days, he made a large number of promotions and other administrative decisions in favor of his relatives.

This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003