Former chief justice Nasirul Mulk was announced as the caretaker prime minister on Monday.
The announcement was made by Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah at a press conference in Islamabad following a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
“No one’s name was discarded,” Shah explained. “We have chosen his name on merit. We took our parties into confidence and decided upon this name.”
“Every name was discussed, and this name was decided upon. It’s a name no one can point fingers at,” PM Abbasi added.
Nasirul Mulk: politically neutral?
When Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk took oath as the 22nd chief justice of Pakistan in 2014, members of the legal fraternity said the appointment would bring honour, dignity and quiet grace.
Why quiet grace? Because, they say, Justice Mulk seldom interjects court proceedings with questions to the counsel unless necessary. A judge who never loses his temper, he extends equal opportunity to the lawyers, but is firm about not allowing the contesting sides to get sidetracked by entering the political arena.
“He is a good administrator and a disciplined judge who knows how to manage courts,” Advocate Hafiz S.A. Rehman commented at the time.
Justice Mulk belongs to Mingora. His father, Kamran Khan, was a businessman known for his philanthropic work in Swat. The dapper Mulk is fond of playing golf and is often seen taking constitutionals in the Margalla hills.
“He was a teacher who had complete command of his subject and avoided controversies,” recalled a former student of Justice Mulk in the Khyber Law College of Peshawar University. “He always came into the classroom well prepared.”
He is remembered for the way he conducted a contempt case against then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
He convicted the then chief executive for 30 seconds while maintaining the dignity and honour of the court, and left the disqualification issue open to the Election Commission of Pakistan and the then speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza.
Justice Mulk is one of the seven judges who signed a restraining order on Nov 3, 2007, when retired Gen Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency and forcibly sent the judges home.
Justice Mulk later joined the judiciary on Sept 20, 2008, under the Naek formula when he took a fresh oath as a judge of the Supreme Court with his seniority intact.
Justice Mulk dissented from a majority judgement while deciding an appeal filed by Mukhtaran Mai for the enhancement of the sentence of her rapists and against their acquittal.
He partially accepted Mukhtaran Mai’s appeal by setting aside the high court’s verdict of the acquittal of the accused on April 21, 2011.
While hearing missing persons’ cases, Justice Mulk has always stood firm as a result of which a number of disappeared persons have surfaced.
Justice Mulk resigned from the post of the acting Chief Election Commissioner the day he was designated as the next chief justice.
He has also held the office of the chairman of the enrolment committee of the Pakistan Bar Council as well as the chairman of the building committee of the under-construction Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) complex being built at a staggering cost of Rs650 million.