Sharif Will Preside Over an Important Meeting to Decide His Successor
7 months ago alayna 0
Today, a day after his disqualification Pakistan’s expelled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will preside over an important meeting to decide his successor.
Yesterday, The Supreme Court of Pakistan excluded Sharif for deceitfulness and lined that dishonesty cases would be filed against him as well as his children on the Panama Papers scandal, expelling the beleaguered leader out of office. Sharif was disqualified under articles 62 as well as 63 of the Constitution, which affirm that a member of the Parliament should be honest and blameless.
Khawaja Saad Rafique, former railway minister and senior leader of PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League) said that the party members would gather in a meeting shortly today. It is expected that the meeting will include the conversation on contenders for the position of the prime minister, the new president of the party as well as members of the Cabinet. He stated that “Different choices were discussed in a related meeting yesterday however no decision was taken”.
According to party sources, Yesterday, Sharif suggested the name of his younger brother and Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz as his successor in the meeting and no one has lifted any objection against the suggestion.
But Shehbaz can’t replace his brother immediately since he is not a member of parliament. So he would have to be elected first, to become the Prime Minister. That’s why, an acting prime minister would have to be selected amongst the intimates and confidants of Sharif, who will walk out once Shehbaz is elected.
Different names have been considered so far as the contender of acting prime minister that includes ex-petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-defence minister Khawaja Asif, ex-planning minister Ahsan Iqbal as well as Ayaz Sadiq, the spokesperson of the national assembly.
Pakistan has made such provisions in the past as well. During Gen Pervez Musharraf’s previous military dictator era, elected official Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain was assigned as an acting prime minister till Musharraf’s nominated member Shaukat Aziz got elected by the ruling party PML-Q (Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam).
Party sources also affirmed that Sharif was conscious about his proposal as he seems that bringing Shehbaz to Islamabad might craft political void in the important state of Punjab, which party can’t afford due to next year’s elections. Therefore, there might be a chance that a stable prime minister would be elected amongst the senior party members for the remaining term of the central government, the term would conclude in June 2018.
If Shehbaz is selected as a prime minister, then it might be the possibility that Shehbaz’s son Hamza would be preferred for the position of Punjab’s Chief Minister. However, there is a difficulty since Hamza Sharif is a constituent of the national assembly so to become Chief Minister of Punjab he would have to be elected as a constituent of provincial assembly first.
Apart from this party would have to select an acting Prime Minister amongst the senior party members if Shehbaz comes out as the final candidate for the premium post.