Pakistan

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi among top contenders to replace Nawaz Sharif as PM: sources

ISLAMABAD: Amid fears of possible disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is considering bringing a new leader of the house, sources told ARY News on Thursday.

According to ARY News correspondent Azhar Farooq, sources within PML-N have confirmed that the ruling party is mulling its options and at least three names have been finalised to replace PM Nawaz Sharif if Supreme Court disqualifies him in the Panamagate case.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tops the list which has heavy weights like National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.

Sources say Khaqan Abbasi has expressed his unwillingness but party is most likely to trust him with the office if PM Nawaz faces such a situation.

Facing an inquiry over his family members’ name in Panama papers and dealing with accusation of possessing “assets beyond means”, the PM is facing a possible threat of disqualification from public office.

On July 10, the JIT probing offshore assets of the ruling family submitted its final report in court which said that “he is in possession of assets beyond known sources of income”. The panel also disclosed that the prime minister was the chairman of a board in another offshore company, FZE Capital UAE.

Just today, the court observed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will have to face consequences if the money trail of London properties, said to be owned by his son, was not proved.

After the development, a number of legal experts believe that it will not be easy for the prime minister to escape disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

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