ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has announced Punjab Chief Minister and Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. The appointment came after a high-level PML-N meeting, the Geo News reported. Shehbaz will steer the country until the next general elections scheduled for 2018.
Earlier in the day, Nawaz Sharif resigned from the Prime Minister’s office following disqualification from the Supreme Court in the Panamagate verdict. The top court five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa unanimously announced the verdict. The apex court ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against the accused in an accountability court in six weeks, directing for the trial to be concluded within six months.
It is the second time in Pakistan’s 70-year history that the Supreme Court has disqualified a sitting prime minister. In 2012 then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was disqualified over contempt of court charges for refusing to reopen a corruption case against the sitting president Asif Ali Zardari. Also no Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year elected term. Most tenures have been cut short by military coups. While serving as the country’s Prime Minister in 1993, Sharif was sacked by the then-president over graft allegations, while in 1999 he was ousted in a military coup.