New Delhi: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office after a damning corruption probe into his family wealth, cutting short his third stint in power. The Supreme Court dismissed Sharif after an investigative panel alleged his family could not account for its vast wealth. The court also ordered a criminal investigation against the premier and his family.
Sharif, 67, has always denied any wrongdoing and has dismissed the investigation into him as biased and inaccurate. Sharif’s allies have alleged there was a conspiracy to unseat him. Sharif’s two previous stints in power were also cut short, including by a military coup in 1999, but he came back from exile to win a resounding victory in the 2013 general elections.
His ruling PML-N party, which has a majority in the parliament, is now expected to appoint a new prime minister.
Here the sequence of events Pakistan and Sharif’s PML-N may see in the next few days:
– An interim head of executive will be sworn in from within the existing ministers
– Nawaz Sharif could nominate a close political ally, possibly brother Shahbaz Sharif who is the chief minister of Punjab province, to his post so the government lasts its full term
– This interim arrangement will remain until such time that Shahbaz Sharif relinquishes his post of Punjab CM and hands over the provincial reins to his son, gets elected to the National Assembly and then takes over as the Prime Minister
– Nawaz Sharif can now challenge the verdict before higher benches.