Ob­servers doubt exit of prime min­is­ter will re­duce fam­ily’s power

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

IS­LAM­ABAD, Pak­istan — The Pak­istan Mus­lim League party has named Shah­baz Sharif, younger brother of ousted Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif, as his suc­ces­sor, which means the Shar­ifs will main­tain their power in the coun­try’s pol­i­tics de­spite the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Nawaz Sharif by the coun­try’s top court on Fri­day.

Nawaz Sharif stepped down as prime min­is­ter hours af­ter the Supreme Court of Pak­istan dis­qual­i­fied him from of­fice over his al­leged fail­ure to dis­close his in­come from a UAE-based com­pany that is owned by one of his sons.

His re­moval had raised con­cerns in the coun­try about a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis, how­ever, PML-N se­nior lead­ers and law­mak­ers’ agree­ment on Shah­baz’s nom­i­na­tion will en­sure con­tin­u­a­tion of Nawaz Sharif ’s poli­cies.

Shah­baz Sharif, who is the in­cum­bent chief min­is­ter in Pak­istan’s most pop­u­lous Pun­jab prov­ince, has vast ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal af­fairs be­cause of his long in­volve­ment in gov­ern­ment.

As PML-N en­joys ma­jor­ity sup­port in the par­lia­ment, Shah­baz Sharif will not face any se­ri­ous chal­lenge from the op­po­si­tion par­ties, which are in­volved in con­sul­ta­tions to field a joint can­di­date to

Po­lit­i­cal is­sues should be re­solved po­lit­i­cally not through courts.” Afrasiab Khat­tak, for­mer se­na­tor and po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst

chal­lenge him.

Although po­lit­i­cal watch­ers ex­pect a cri­sis and ten­sions be­tween the PML-N and the op­po­si­tion par­ties, Nawaz Sharif adopted a soft and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion tone when he spoke to re­porters af­ter he presided over a meet­ing to choose his suc­ces­sor.

For­mer se­na­tor and a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Afrasiab Khat­tak de­scribed the court’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of an elected prime min­is­ter as un­for­tu­nate as the ver­dict has cre­ated dis­rup­tion in the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem that could lead to in­sta­bil­ity.

“Po­lit­i­cal is­sues should be re­solved po­lit­i­cally not through courts. This is not a healthy prac­tice,” Khat­tak said.

He said as PML-N party en­joys a clear ma­jor­ity in the Na­tional Assem­bly and a very strong sup­port base in Pun­jab.

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