Abb Takk News

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to be PM for Interim Period

Islamabad (July 29, 2017): Senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be prime minister for the interim period of 45 days before Shahbaz Sharif election as MNA.

According to the details, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders have agreed to nominate former Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister of the country after Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification by Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.

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The decision was taken in a meeting of PML-N parliamentary leaders at Punjab House in Islamabad today (Saturday), the parliamentary party meeting confirmed. Abbasi will serve as an interim PM for the next 45 days. Later on, the existing Punjab Chief Minister will take over and continue as the PM till the interim government for 2018 elections is formed. He will take outh as premier after taking majority votes from PML-N lawmakers as well as coalition members.

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The participants have also approved Shehbaz Sharif’s name to permanently take over as the premier, which had already been foreseen yesterday. The young Sharif is currently chief minister of powerful Punjab province — the Sharif family stronghold. He would have to step down from that role and be elected to the National Assembly before he was eligible to become prime minister. That will require a party loyalist to resign from his seat in the national parliament, sparking a hasty vote that Shehbaz would contest on the PML-N ticket. He will be elected as PM after his election as MNA and till then Abbasi will be prime minister.

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As Shahbaz is not member of National Assembly and cannot become Prime Minister immediately, so as a stopgap arrangement Abbasi will be elected as Prime Minister for the interim 45 day period during which Shahbaz Sharif will contest by-elections on the seat fell vacant after Nawaz’s disqualification.

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Shehbaz Sharif has controlled Punjab — Pakistan’s most populous and prosperous province — for much of the last decade, presiding over a series of big ticket infrastructure projects, including Pakistan’s first metro bus service. PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique called him an exemplary chief minister and praised his services for the development of Punjab.

It should be recalled that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chairman when Pervez Musharraf ousted Nawaz Sharif in 1999. He was also arrested in plane hijack case. It is often said that Abbasi was pressurised to become an approver against the derailed Sharif government.

He had refused to approve against Nawaz Sharif in the corruption cases which escalated the confidence of senior leadership in him. After PML-N victory in 2013 general elections, he was made a part of federal cabinet by alloting him the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. He conducted various projects for the discovery of fossils in Sindh and elsewhere.

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