Senior PML-N leader and former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will run the PML-N government as interim prime minister of Pakistan until Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz is elected as member of parliament, according to Pakistan media reports.
The Supreme Court yesterday disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the embattled leader out of office. Geo TV reported that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided to appoint Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister in an informal meeting which went on for three hours.
Former petroleum minister Abbasi will be appointed as interim prime minister to run the country until Shehbaz is elected as member of parliament, it added. The final announcement will be made 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.
Party sources had earlier said that Sharif proposed name of his younger brother Shehbaz in a meeting yesterday and none of the participants raised any objection to the proposal. But Shehbaz, 65, cannot immediately replace his brother as he is not an MP. In order to become the prime minister, he would have to be elected first.
Hence, Abbasi has been named as interim prime minister who will resign once Shehbaz is elected. Pakistan has seen such arrangements in the past too. 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).