Shahbaz to remain in Punjab, Abbasi to serve as PM till 2018

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday announced his brother Shahbaz Sharif will continue to run Punjab days after lawmakers elected PML-N loyalist Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the head of government.

Nawaz had earlier announced plans for his brother Shahbaz to take over as leader of the country after a Supreme Court ruling that barred him from office.

The Punjab chief minister was to contest a by-election for parliament to become eligible to take the reins. But Monday’s announcement put rest to speculations Abbasi will serve for 45 days.

Nawaz, a three-time premier, did not announce his pick for by-elections in NA-120, a core power base for the Pakistan Muslim League and one of Pakistan’s most critical election battlegrounds.

The former prime minister also lashed out at the Supreme Court ruling, saying he won’t accept premiership in case his party wins the review case in the apex court.

“It is not acceptable that honourable judges should base the disqualification decision of an elected PM through interpretation of assets in a ‘different’ manner,” he said.

The ex-premier commented on the ruling of the top court that it was designed for the sole purpose of disqualification. "The decision to disqualify me had already been taken, only a justification was being sought," he added.

However, Nawaz Sharif elaborated that his aims are not personal but connected to the masses and public interest. The ex-PM observed that he intended to revoke NAB ordinance but did not get the chance to achieve the goal.

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