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  World   Asia  25 Sep 2017  Shehbaz in ‘contention’ to replace Abbasi as Pak PM

Shehbaz in ‘contention’ to replace Abbasi as Pak PM

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAFQAT ALI
Published : Sep 25, 2017, 6:16 am IST
Updated : Sep 25, 2017, 6:16 am IST

PML-N leaders said that Shahbaz was being considered for the top job to settle differences in the party.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif. (Photo: AFP)
 Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif. (Photo: AFP)

Islamabad: Ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif — the incumbent Punjab chief minister — is one again being considered for the premiership, sources said.

Ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leaders who attended a meeting in London with the senior Sharif said that Mr Shehbaz might be appointed as the Prime Minister to replace Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

 

It was also told that Mr Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz — who won a by-election in Lahore this month — will not return to Pakistan for the coming six months due to her recent surgeries and treatment.

Current PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also paid a visit to Mr Sharif in London upon his return from the United States where he attended UN General Assembly session.

Politicians from the ruling party including foreign minister Khawaja Asif, Maryam Nawaz, Mohammed Safdar and others met at the office of Hassan Nawaz.

PML-N leaders said that Mr Shahbaz was being considered for the top job to settle differences in the party. Mr Shehbaz was named as Mr Sharif’s successor in August but dropped later in favour of Mr Abbasi keeping in view the general elections in 2018.

 

The members included finance minister Ishaq Dar, whose Islamabad residence was recently raided by a Lahore-based team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amidst corruption references in accountability court.

PML-N leaders said that Mr Shahbaz was being considered for the top job to settle differences in the party. Mr Shahbaz was named as Mr Sharif’s successor in August but dropped later in favour of Mr Abbasi keeping in view the general elections in 2018.

Later, Prime Minister Abbasi said that democracy won in NA-120 by-election in which PML-N candidate Kulsoon Nawaz regained the constituency vacated after her husband’s judicial ouster.

 

Mr Sharif is expected to stay in London for three to four months. It was told that doctors had advised Kulsoom Nawaz against travelling for at least four to six months after the series of surgeries.

It is possible that Kulsoom Nawaz’s medical recovery will result in another NA-120 by-election that will be contested by Shahbaz Sharif who could then be appointed as the premier after PM Abbasi’s resignation. On Saturday, Nawaz Sharif said he had a principled stance over his disqualification and the people supported his stance during the recently conducted by-polls in NA-120.

Referring to his ‘homecoming rally’, he said that the people of Pakistan all along the Grand Trunk Road from Islamabad to Lahore supported his stance and expressed confidence in his leadership.

 

Tags: nawaz sharif, shahid khaqan abbasi, shehbaz sharif
Location: Pakistan, Islamabad