Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shahbaz Sharif has filed his candidature for the post of PM after Imran Khan was ousted from power. It is now believed that he will become the Prime Minister on Monday. Significantly, Imran Khan is the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to lose power through a no-confidence motion.
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party on Sunday announced that party MPs will resign on Monday if opposition candidate Shahbaz Sharif is allowed to run for the PM’s post. Senior party leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry made the announcement while addressing the media after a meeting of PTI’s core committee chaired by Khan. “If our calamity on Shahbaz Sharif’s (nomination) letter is not resolved, we will resign tomorrow,” he said.
After the removal of Imran Khan from the post through a no-confidence motion, the process of electing the new leader of the House began on Sunday. Shahbaz is likely to be elected as Khan’s successor in the National Assembly today. The new prime minister would need 172 votes in the 342-member lower house. Fawad Chaudhry also said that PTI has fielded former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi against Shahbaz. So that the party can challenge the candidature of the joint opposition candidate.
Fawad Chaudhry said that Shahbaz will contest the PM’s election on the same day when he is charged in the money laundering case. He said that what could be more humiliating for Pakistan than imposing a foreign-elected and imported government on it and appointing a person like Shahbaz as its head.
Chowdhury was apparently referring to the decision of a special court of the Federal Investigation Agency, which on April 11 announced indictment against Shahbaz and his son Hamza in the Rs 14 billion money laundering case. In the midst of all this, the PTI crisis was dismissed by the Secretariat of the National Assembly. Hence Shahbaz and his rival Qureshi got the green signal to contest the elections.
Earlier, the Express Tribune reported that 70-year-old Shahbaz had nominated a new leader of the House within a time frame set by the National Assembly and a new prime minister would be chosen during a special session on Monday. The United Opposition has already declared Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif as its joint candidate. Shahbaz’s victory has been predicted.