Pakistan’s Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on Saturday. He also confirmed that his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be the party’s candidate for prime minister, GeoTV reported.
“If you support anyone after me, I ask you to support Shehbaz Sharif,” Nawaz was quoted as saying at a Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) meeting.
Sharif also told the party leaders that he was proud that his disqualification was “not because of corruption”. “Not a single corruption charge was proven against me,” he said.
He added that his conscience is clear, Dawn reported. “If I had done something wrong; or took something from this country that was not mine, I would have felt the guilt myself,” he was quoted as saying.
Sharif added that the way forward was clear – the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of the law. He said, “We’ve had regrettable moments in our history, but our future should be free of these regrets,” and added that it was now time to contemplate how the country can be run better.
On Friday, Sharif quit after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office for life over a corruption scandal stemming from Panama Papers, which revealed that his family owned several illegally acquired offshore properties and businesses. The judges had said that Sharif had been dishonest to Parliament and the courts, and was not fit to hold the position. The top court has ordered for the corruption case to be referred to the National Accountability Bureau.
Hours later, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) nominated his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif for the post. Shehbaz Sharif is currently the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province. His election to the National Assembly seat will be held after the 45-day interim period, during which time Abbasi would hold the office.