Islamabad: An informal meeting, headed by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on Saturday deliberated the PML-N’s political strategy after Sharif’s disqualification and decided to rally behind Nawaz’s younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, after discussions that stretched over four hours.
The meeting came ahead of the PML-N’s parliamentary party meeting, to be convened at Punjab House, Islamabad, at 4pm later the same day.
If the parliamentary party validates this decision, Shahbaz will have to resign from his seat in Punjab Assembly and a new chief minister for Punjab will have to be chosen. Shahbaz will then have to get elected from the seat left vacant by Nawaz and an interim prime minister will have to be elected until Shahbaz reaches the National Assembly.
Sources claim that PML-N leaders and former federal ministers Rana Tanveer, Khurram Dastgir and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are front-runners for interim prime minister till Shahbaz takes office. Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman is likely to replace Shahbaz as the chief minister Punjab.
The meeting, expected to be the last under Nawaz in the Prime Minister house, was attended by close aides of the outgoing prime minister, including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ahsan Iqbal, Ayaz Sadiq, Saad Rafique, Rana Tanveer, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.