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Pakistan: Shehbaz Sharif set to head PML-N

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-08-2017 Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad: Shehbaz Sharif is set to be appointed as president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after Pakistan’s Election Commission asked the ruling party to replace his brother Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified as prime minister by the Supreme Court, a senior leader has said.

Raja Zafarul Haq, senior PML-N leader, told the media that Shehbaz Sharif, 65, would be the new president of the PML-N. The formal decision would be taken later this week in Lahore in meeting of the PML-N. Though Nawaz Sharif still holds sole authority to appoint anyone to any post, he consults the party before major decisions. The 67-year-old ousted prime minister was president of the ruling party until he was disqualified by the Supreme Court on 28 July over the Panama Papers scandal.

According to the local laws, he lost his seat in the national assembly and cannot hold any post in the party. Opposition parties had lodged petitions against the then premier over the scandal, demanding a trial of the first family for the assets and properties they owned, alleging that the premier and his children resorted to money laundering and graft.

The top court took up the case in October and formal hearings of the petitions began in November. After around four months, a verdict was reserved by the top court in February and was delivered on 20 April, ordering the formation of a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the first family. After 60 days, the probe committee filed its report in the court and within two weeks, a verdict was delivered that ordered the elections authority to disqualify Nawaz Sharif.

On Tuesday, the Election Commission, through a notice, told the PML-N that Nawaz Sharif cannot lead the party after disqualification under the Political Parties Order 2002. PTI

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