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Shahbaz Sharif likely to be next PM if party wins: Abbasi

Lahore: Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of jailed PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, is likely to be the next prime minister if the party wins the election, Pakistan’s former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said.
He, however, said the final decision will be made with consensus in the party after the results, Dawn reported on Wednesday.
Abbasi, who was elected as the prime minister following the disqualification of Sharif by the Supreme Court in July last year, also ruled out any split within the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.
“Shahbaz Sharif will be the next prime minister in the event the party wins the July 25 elections though the final decision will still be made with consensus in the party,” Abbasi said on Tuesday.
Shahbaz, 66, who was the chief minister of Punjab province from June 2013 to June 2018, was elected as PML-N president in March after elder Sharif was disqualified as the party president following a Supreme Court verdict in the Elections Act 2017 case.
Replying to a question on the possibility of a coalition with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Abbasi said that an alliance with them could not even last a month in 2008.
Abbasi, also a PML-N national assembly candidate, questioned the cases against Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd.) Muhammad Safdar and said the trial against them was conducted in an unprecedented and discriminatory manner.
Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on July 13 on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty over his family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London.
They were later shifted to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively for corruption charges linked to the Panama Papers case. Sharif has also been barred from holding any public office for life. (PTI)

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