March 22, 2018

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to be elected as interim PM of Pakistan

30 July 2017, 11:57 | Randolph Howard

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses his supporters during a rally in Gujranwala near Lahore

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses his supporters during a rally in Gujranwala near Lahore

In the PML-N consultative session on Friday, Nawaz had proposed the name of his brother as the next Prime Minister, party sources were reported as saying by Geo News.

The court has recommended anti-corruption cases against several individuals, including Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others.

The verdict sent shock waves among leaders of the ruling PML-N.

"Now that the short but final judgement has been analysed by the legal community, the political class and the citizenry in detail, the implications of it for politics in Pakistan need to be forthrightly addressed", it said.

But Khalid Hameed Farooqi, a Brussels-based Pakistani journalist who covers diplomatic affairs, told DW that Sharif's ouster has reflected negatively on Pakistan.

Opposition leader Imran Khan, who has spearheadead the push against Sharif, hailed the verdict as ushering in a new dawn for Pakistan.

The military has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70-year history and has been unwilling to see its influence challenged.

"What the Joint Investigation Team did in 60 days could not have been done even in the West", the cricketer-turned- politician said.

Three-time prime minister Sharif could never complete his democratic tenure.

"We hope that the verdict will help in deterring corruption in high places", he said. In order for him to be elected as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, he will have to first get elected.

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He said his party will celebrate the court's decision with a public meeting in capital Islamabad, asking his activists to remain calm.

"True accountability is necessary for true democracy", he said outside the courtroom.

The allegations against Sharif centred around the ownership of four apartments in London's posh Park Lane neighbourhood.

The Panama papers controversy erupted past year, wherein 11.5 million secret documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca documented the offshore dealings of numerous world's rich and powerful.

The probe against Sharif began after his children were named in the so-called Panama Papers leak for owning off-shore accounts and properties.

The documents showed that these companies had engaged in deals worth $25m.

Also an engineer, Khan was elected from the industrial city of Gujranwala, also in eastern Punjab province, a stronghold of Sharif's. "However, [it is up to] Nawaz Sharif to decide whether Hamza will be the right choice for the post or not", said a senior PML-N legislator from Punjab. The assets were not declared on his family's wealth statement, but the Panama Papers leak in April 2016 revealed them.

According to the court, Sharif was banned for life from political activities.

When Sharif was overthrown in a bloodless coup in 1999 by military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Abbasi was charged with aiding Sharif, who had sought to avoid the coup by refusing to allow Musharraf's plane to land in Pakistan.

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