The New Pakistani caretaker government headed by Senate chairman Mohammedmian Soomro takes office on Friday, just hours after Pakistan's parliament dissolved itself at midnight (local time) Thursday following completion of its five-year term.
Outgoing Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz addressed a final Cabinet meeting late Thursday. He said that no government has been more tolerant than his in hearing criticism.
President Pervez Musharraf, whose term also ended Thursday, earlier appointed Mr. Soomro as interim prime minister to guide the emergency-ruled country to elections. Mr. Soomro will be sworn in at a ceremony this Friday morning.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that decisions General Musharraf makes in the coming weeks will determine how closely the United States will work with him.
Gates also said that a review of U.S. military aid to Pakistan concluded the aid does not have to be suspended immediately due to emergency rule.