Senior PML-N leader and former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been chosen as Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister. The decision was taken at a crucial meeting chaired by Nawaz Sharif, a day after he was asked to step down by the Supreme Court over Panama Papers case.
According to Pakistani media reports, the party has decided that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi run the PML-N government as interim prime minister until Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz is elected as member of parliament and then elevated to become the Prime Minister.
Shehbaz is Nawaz’s younger brother to is the present Chief Minister of Punjab province.
Reports said that the formal announcement about Abbasi will be made by Nawaz Sharif himself.
Shehbaz, 65, cannot immediately replace his brother as Prime Minister because he is not a Member of Parliament.
Party sources revealed that Sharif had proposed his brother Shehbaz’s name in Friday’s meeting that was held soon after he stepped down as PM. Sources also said that no one opposed to Shehbaz being made PM.
An interim prime minister making way for another one within a short period of time, is not new to Pakistan.
Earlier, during former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf’s reign, 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).
The political churning within Pakistan is taking place because Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as an MP after the Supreme Court found him guilty of corruption. On Friday the court asked authorities to file corruption cases against the Prime Minister and his children in the Panama Papers scandal.
(With inputs from agencies)