Shahid Khaqan Abbasi named as interim prime minister of Pakistan till Shahbaz Sharif is elected as MP

Islamabad: 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 Shahbaz is elected as member of parliament, according to Pakistan media reports.

The Supreme Court Friday 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 Shahbaz Sharif as prime minister in an informal meeting which went on for three hours.

File image of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. ANI/Twitter

File image of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. ANI/Twitter

Former petroleum minister Abbasi will be appointed as interim prime minister to run the country until Shahbaz 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 the name of his younger brother Shahbaz in a meeting on Friday and none of the participants raised any objection to the proposal.

But Shahbaz, 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 Shahbaz is elected.

Pakistan has seen such arrangements in the past too. During former military dictator General 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).

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Published Date: Jul 29, 2017 05:48 pm | Updated Date: Jul 29, 2017 05:48 pm

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