Shehbaz Sharif Appointed Pakistani Prime Minister Instead of Dismissed Brother

Posted July 31, 2017

Mr Sharif's younger brother - who is chief minister of Punjab, the country's most populous province and the family's power base - has so far been unscathed by the corruption allegations.

The rulling party also chose to rally behind Nawaz's younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, as his eventual successor.

According to party sources, Sharif was conscious that bringing Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz to Islamabad may create political vacuum in the crucial state, which PML-N can not afford ahead of next year elections.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was petroleum minister, would take over as interim prime minister until Shahbaz Sharif takes over. They have worked closely together ever since, also during their time in exile in Saudia Arabia.

Activists of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PNL-N) protest the Supreme Court (SC) decision against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in Lahore, on July 28, 2017.

However, a statement from his office said he resigned. In Pakistan's perpetual tug-of-war between its military and civilian branches, Sharif has had a strained relationship with the army, which was behind both his previous dismissals.

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Some analysts have dubbed Sharif's disqualification a "judicial coup".

He had not openly defended his uncle (Nawaz Sharif) in the Panama Papers case, choosing not to comment too much on the issue.

Former PM Nawaz Sharif bids farewell to the PM House staff prior to his departure.

The final nomination will be recognised in the party's parliamentary meeting.

Sources said the premier is accompanied by his wife, daughter Maryam and mother.

Meanwhile the Tehrik-i-Insaf opposition party of charismatic cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan observed a thanksgiving day in Islamabad. It's also the second time the apex court has disqualified a Prime Minister, after Yousaf Raza Gilani, who was sacked in 2012 for contempt of court. He said he was grateful to Sharif for naming him premier, even though it will only be for a brief period.

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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.

The United States and the European Union have urged a smooth democratic transition in the South Asian country.

The ouster of Nawaz was politically controversial, with opposition figures celebrating publicly in the capital city of Islamabad, handing out candy in the streets.

"Sharif has a good reputation in the European Union".

"I promise you that this country will become a handsome nation one day...", he said, adding that the way he and his family has been treated is shameful.

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