Shahid Abbasi is interim Pakistan Prime Minister

According to Pakistani media reports it was decided in advance that if the Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif then Asif will be made interim prime minister for 45 days till someone from Nawaz Sharif's family is elected

According to Pakistani media reports it was decided in advance that if the Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif then Asif will be made interim prime minister for 45 days till someone from Nawaz Sharif's family is elected

Pakistan's ruling party on Saturday named chief minister of the Punjab province, Shehbaz Sharif, as the country's new prime minister, following the disqualification of former premier Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers scandal.

It is to be mentioned here that Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on July 28 (Friday) from holding public office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in its final judgment in the Panama Papers case.

He is due to be rubber stamped by in a parliamentary vote as prime minister until Sharif´s younger brother Shahbaz, a provincial minister, can be elected to the national assembly and take over the leadership.

According to sources at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), however, the final say on the decision on who gets to helm Punjab rests with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is looking to consolidate the party's control in Punjab province.

Abbasi, the 58-year-old loyalist of Nawaz Sharif, is expected to serve for 45 days and will resign to let Shehbaz succeed as permanent premier, party sources said.

"We wanted to make sure there is a smooth transfer of power, and no constitutional crisis", said Miftah Ismail, a senior PML-N official and Sharif ally.

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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.

Nawaz Sharif's disqualification has angered his supporters, who allege that their country's powerful military influenced the judiciary to unseat him. The Bhutto-Zardari clan, the other political family in the country, battled allegations of massive graft which included the nickname of the "10 per cent man" for Asif Ali Zardari, husband of prime minister and slain Benazir Bhutto.

Sharif contends that he never withdrew that salary, and was therefore not liable to declare it.

The ruling PML-N party has vowed a smooth transfer of power after Sharif's removal.

"I do not think there will be any significant change in the political situation", she said and pointed out that Shahbaz has a long political experience and he could overcome the current crisis. The election of the interim Prime Minister will take place on Tuesday. He was sworn in as the chief minister of Punjab on February 20, 1997, after being elected to the Assembly for the third time.

Investigators, including members of the country's two top spy agencies - the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence - had questioned Sharif's children, his son-in-law, Shehbaz Sharif, as well as two close aides.

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