Nawaz Sharif to hold key party meeting to choose successor

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Former petroleum minister to lead country till ex-prime minister's brother, Shahbaz Sheikh, is elected to the postISLAMABAD Pakistan's ruling party has appointed Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister after the ouster of Nawaz Sharif, while Sharif's brother has been chosen as his long-term successor.

Nawaz Sharif presided over a meeting in Islamabad of his PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)) party to review the situation arising out of his disqualification as the prime minister and nominate a new leader, official sources said.

Mr Shahbaz Sharif, 65, is Chief Minister of powerful Punjab province, a Sharif family stronghold that accounts for more than half of Pakistan's 190 million people, reported Agence France-Presse.

Abbasi, the 58-year-old loyalist of Sharif, is expected to serve for 45 days and will resign to let Shehbaz succeed as permanent premier, party sources said.

Political observers say the army leadership is very skeptical of Sharif due to his repeated attempts to improve ties with India and enhance trade between the two South Asian nuclear-armed archrivals.

PML-N is contemplating all possibilities from all aspects before it reaches a final decision with regard to new provincial chief minister as incumbent CM Shahbaz Sharif will replace his toppled brother Nawaz Sharif by contesting NA-120 by-polls.

"I have accepted the Supreme Court's judgment despite all my reservations". "Another elected Prime Minister has been sent home", tweeted his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

"I was not expecting what happened to me yesterday", he said.

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In order to become the prime minister, he would have to be elected first.

It was chose to appoint Abbasi as interim prime minister to run the government until Shehbaz is elected as a member of parliament, they said.

Sharif was disqualified under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution over his failure to disclose un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from a UAE-based company.

Sharif dismissed the allegations against him as minor, adding that no corruption charges had yet been proven against him.

As the verdict was announced in Islamabad opposition supporters erupted in applause, rushing into the street chanting slogans and handing out candies in celebration.

Shahbaz will likely seek election to the National Assembly from Nawaz Sharif's constituency, which is a PML-N stronghold.

It is notable that not a single Prime Minister in Pakistan has been allowed to complete his or her tenure since the country's inception 70 years ago. In 1993, he was ousted after a bitter struggle with the country's president, and in 1999 the military overthrew him in a bloodless coup.

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