Khawaja Asif most likely to become interim PM for 45 days until Shahbaz Sharif is elected from a NA seat
Supreme Court bench has reserved its judgment on Panama Case against Sharif family and final verdict is expected to be announced in a week.
Nawaz Sharif and their political associates in a high-level meeting held at Prime Minister House decided that current Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif would serve as new Prime Minister, sources said.
PMLN’s sources have told local media, the ruling party PMLN has decided to accept the Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Case. PML-N brainstormed on possible names to serve as replacement if Supreme Court disqualifies the PM in the ongoing Panama Papers Case.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presided over the session where attendees included his top aides and cabinet ministers, including Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ishaq Dar, and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The participants expressed their confidence in PM Nawaz Sharif and agreed that the premier should not resign. The Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali was conspicuous for his absence in the meeting. Legal team of the prime minister gave a briefing to participants about the hearing and the possible judgment.
During meeting party discussed the possible disqualification of Nawaz Sharif in the court verdict, current Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif would serve as new Prime Minister
Federal Defense Minister Khawaja Asif will most likely become interim PM for 45 days until Shahbaz Sharif is elected from a National Assembly seat. However, PML-N has kept the option of in-house change open and names of party stalwarts – including Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi – are under consideration for the interim Prime Minister post.
It was also decided during the huddle that the ruling party will utilise all legal and constitutional options available if the SC decision goes against the PM.
The meeting chaired by the premier was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif along with federal ministers, advisers and the legal team representing the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case.
The Panama Papers affair came out of nowhere and has shone a light in Pakistan the likes of which has never shone before. A political dynasty and its head have been exposed as duplicitous and unworthy of respect or deference. Head for the exit, Mr Sharif, and go, go before you are pushed.