Pakistan's ruling party meets to consider PM Nawaz Sharif's successor

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30 July, 2017

The Pakistan Muslim League (N), the country's ruling party has approved Shehbaz Sharif the next Prime Minister after his brother Nawaz Sharif had been dismissed on July 28, Dawn publication reported Saturday citing sources.

Earlier, Raja Zafarul Haq, a senior leader from Sharif's party, said Pakistan would continue without a prime minister until the National Assembly elects a new one.

However, the 65-year-old Shahbaz Sharif, who now serves as the chief minister of the country's Punjab Province, will first need to be elected as a lawmaker to the National Assembly before he can assume the top leadership post.

As part of the agreed-on course of action, Shahbaz will also have to forego his seat in the Punjab Assembly and his successor will also need to be chosen.

If reports are to be believed, either Hamaz Shehbaz Sharif, the son of Shehbaz, or Rana Sanaullah, Punjab province's Law Minister, will replace Shehbaz as the Chief Minister of Punjab.

This statement and tweet came after the Pakistani Supreme court disqualified Nawaz Sharif from the post of the country's Prime Minister.

A formal announcement on the matter is yet to be made by the party.

Sharif was on Friday disqualified from office by the Supreme Court which sent his case to an anti-corruption court for trial in the Panamagate graft scandal.

"I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections, so for the time being, I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi", Mr Nawaz Sharif said in a televised speech to his party.

"I am seeing the destination of a new Pakistan in front of me", he said, announcing a rally to be held on Sunday.

After the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif from his Prime Minister post, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is expected to announce schedule for holding by-polls on NA-120 (Lahore) by next week, sources said.

"We will file a reference against him", Khan said while presiding over a meeting at his Bani Gala residence of the PTI's parliamentary parties to chalk out a strategy following the prime minister's resignation. He said he was grateful to Sharif for naming him premier, even though it will only be for a brief period.

Investigators, including members of the country's two top spy agencies - the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence - had questioned Sharif's children, his son-in-law, Shehbaz Sharif, as well as two close aides. He is viewed as a strong critic of the powerful military and commentators say that his hardline stance against the army has created problems for Sharif.


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