Pakistan PM Ousted, Younger Brother Will Take Position

Pakistan's Supreme Court was set to announce its much-awaited decision Friday on the political fate of beleaguered Pri

Opposition leader Imran Khan, who has spearheadead the push against Sharif, hailed the verdict as ushering in a new dawn for Pakistan.

Lahore:Beijing termed Nawaz Sharif's disqualification from public office as an "internal affair of Pakistan" and said that it will not impact China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership involving 'One Belt, One Road (OBOR)' initiative that includes China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as its "flagship" project. The companies were allegedly used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, including some apartments along Park Lane in London's Mayfair area.

Shahbaz Sharif, 65, the chief minister of the vast Punjab province that accounts for more than half of Pakistan's 190 million people, will need to be first elected to the national assembly before he can take over as leader of the country.

Sharif's move followed the Supreme Court's decision to sack the premier for corruption allegations against his family.

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Sharif, according to sources, has recommended his brother as the replacement.

The case, brought by a member of Sharif's PML-N party, seeks to have Khan disqualified on the same contentious clause in the constitution that ousted Sharif - the requirement that Pakistani politicians be honest.

As incumbent Punjab Chief Minister is expected to quit the provincial assembly seat by next week to contest NA-120 by-polls to replace his brother Nawaz Sharif, the provincial Minister for Excise and Taxation Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman is likely to be elected as new chief minister of the province, party sources said.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan's petroleum minister and a loyalist of the Sharif administration, has now assumed office as interim prime minister [WP report]. Now, after almost two decades, the ousted prime minister has chosen him to step into his shoes, though for a short stint of 45 days.

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The verdict sent shock waves among leaders of the ruling PML-N. The disqualification, she claimed, wouldn't deter her father from staging a comeback. He will be unstoppable. Sharif's political opponents had been alleging for years that the properties had been obtained through ill-gotten gains made during Sharif's previous two terms in power in the 1990s.

The SC ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference in an accountability court in six weeks and the case must be completed within six months.

Lalit Mansingh, who was foreign secretary from 1999-2000, too said political instability in Pakistan will further embolden the army and in such a scenario, it will more aggressively push terror activities against India. Opposition supporters erupted in applause, rushing to the streets, chanting slogans and handing out candies.

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