International Desk: Just a day after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court from the Prime Minister post, Shahid Khawan Abbasi will likely serve as the interim prime minister for 45 days till Nawaz’s younger brother Shahbaz Sharif takes over as his eventual successor, reported Pakistan daily Dawn.
Shortly after Nawaz Sharif’s exit, the ruling party PML-N proposed his younger brother Shehbaz for the role of the prime minister. Shahbaz, however, cannot immediately replace Nawaz Sharif since he isn’t a member of the Parliament. In order for him to be elected as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, he will have to first get elected. In the meantime, an interim prime minister will have to be chosen who will eventually resign once Shehbaz becomes eligible for the post.
Shahbaz’s eventual election as the Prime Minister seems to be a foregone conclusion as the ruling party (PML-N) holds a big majority in Parliament. The Supreme Court court on Friday disqualified Sharif and also ruled that graft cases be filed against the beleaguered leader and his children over the Panama Papers scandal. Senior Pakistan Muslim League leader and former railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafique while speaking to media said the party will be holding a meeting on Saturday to discuss on candidates appropriate for the post of prime minister, party’s new president and members of the Cabinet. He was quoted by PTI as saying: “Different options were discussed in a similar meeting yesterday but no decision was taken.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Geo TV reported that the ruling party has decided to appoint Shahbaz Sharif as Prime Minister in an informal meeting which went on for three hours. Abbasi, who is a former petroleum minister, will be appointed as interim prime minister until Shahbaz is elected as member of parliament, the report said.
The final outcome will be announced by Nawaz Sharif in the formal parliamentary party meeting of PML-N which is taking place in Islamabad a day after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court.
During former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf’s time, politician Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was appointed as an interim prime minister until Shaukat Aziz, who was nominated by Musharraf, got elected by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ).
risingbd/Dhaka/July 29, 2017/Nasim