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PML-N shortlists names for replacement of Nawaz Sharif: sources

ISLAMABAD: Amid the political turmoil in wake of Panama Papers case, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is mulling over names for replacement of Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif in case he gets disqualified.

Since the ruling party has announced to accede to the Supreme Court’s orders, the PML-N leadership has reached a decision that the party will evade a confrontation with legal and constitutional bodies if the top court’s judgment comes against the premier and in that condition Nawaz Sharif will be replaced by one of the party’s senior leaders.

Informed sources said that the ruling party has shortlisted few names in a meeting that was convened on Friday (yesterday) after the Supreme Court reserved its verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Read Also: Nisar may leave ministry over differences with PM over Panamagate issue: sources

The party leadership has contemplated senior leader Khawaja Asif’s name for replacing the premier in case of PM’s disqualification in the case, sources said. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ayaz Sadiq, and Ahsan Iqbal are other names which party leadership is considering to bring a new leader of the house.

The sources further said that PML-N leader Khawaja Asif will most likely will become interim prime minister till Shehbaz Sharif is elected at a National Assembly seat.

Party delegation meets Nisar

PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali has expressed his reservations over possible replacement of Nawaz Sharif with Khawaja Asif.

In a meeting with a party delegation Nisar refused to work in a cabinet headed by a ‘junior’ party member, well placed sources said.

According to sources, Nisar also told the party delegation that he will not become part of any conspiracy against the judiciary and the military.

There are reports of differences and divisions in the ruling party’s top leadership during the existential crisis to the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of Panamagate case.

Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are trying to iron out differences within the party ranks.

It was learnt through informed sources, the party will employ all legal and constitutional options available if the top court’s judgment goes against the premier.

It is to be mentioned that PM Nawaz Sharif chaired a high-profile meeting of party leaders at PM House on Friday (yesterday) which ended with a decision that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would not tender his resignation. However, the party leadership affirmed accepting the apex court’s judgment.

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.



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