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March 31, 2020
WORLD

Change of Guard in Pakistan But Uncertainty Remains  

Pakistan’s National Assembly (Lower house of Parliament) elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the country’s new Prime Minister after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court for concealing his assets.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Abbasi. An electrical engineer by profession, Abbasi was the Petroleum and Natural gas Minister in the Nawaz Sharif’s government (2013-17).Abbasi was elected with 221 votes in the house of 342. He has been elected six times to National Assembly from Rawalpindi, Tehsil Murree since 1988.  He spent two years in jail during the Musharraf era and refused to turn approver against Nawaz Sharif.

However, his tenure is going to be short approximately 45 days as PML-N has named Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, as his successor. Shahbaz is currently the chief minister of Punjab province so he must first enter parliament first to take Nawaz’s position. Shahbaz will have to resign from his current position and contest election for National Assembly from Lahore, seat which fell vacant after Nawaz resigned. The elections are expected to be held in September. Shahbaz is considered to be a pragmatic leader who is close to the army which is the need of the hour as next elections are due in 2018. He can give a  tough competition to the opposition and can save his party which can disintegrate at this crucial time.

 

(The views expressed are personal. She can be reached at [email protected] or www.jyotikateckchandani.com )

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