Shahid Khaqan Abbasi dismisses rumours of Shahbaz Sharif replacing brother Nawaz as PML-N chief



London: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday refuted rumours that Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif would replace his brother Nawaz Sharif as the chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, according to a media report.

Sharif, 67, had to step down as the chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after he was disqualified as the prime minister by the Supreme Court on 28 July in the Panama Papers scandal.

After attending a meeting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) top leadership in London, sources said that it was decided that the PML-N would not accept removing the former premier from the post of the party chief.

Abbasi refuted rumours that Shehbaz would replace his brother Nawaz as the chief of PML-N, Express Tribune reported.

Sharif is in London along with his family to be with his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz who is still receiving cancer treatment in the British capital.

His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retired) Mohmmad Safdar have already been indicted in corruption cases filed against them by the country’s anti-corruption body National Accountability Bureau on the Supreme Court’s instruction in the Panama Papers case.

Abbasi and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz left for London on Sunday and met the former premier, who landed in Islamabad from Saudi Arabia along with his son Hussain.

File image of Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. Getty images

File image of Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. Getty images

Dismissing speculation about early general elections, Sharif said: “Rumours are always around but don’t believe them”.

He once again complained about his removal and said: “When a government is weakened, the country gets weakened”.

Shahbaz had said that “Elections will be held on time and there are no differences in the party or family”.

After the day-long meeting, Abbasi is expected to return to Pakistan later in the day.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, along with other cabinet ministers, is also expected to reach the UK from Saudi Arabia.

The PML-N party is trying to position itself for the 2018 elections. Both Sharif and his daughter have stated that the cases against them are politically-motivated.

Sharif reached London to be with his wife after concluding a week-long private visit to Saudi Arabia.



Published Date: Oct 31, 2017 07:27 am | Updated Date: Oct 31, 2017 07:33 am

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