The Latest: Pakistan’s Sharif says disappointed by ouster
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Latest on developments in Pakistan politics (all times local):
Pakistan’s deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his disappointment over his disqualification by the country’s highest court for allegedly concealing assets.
In his first televised comments Saturday since the decision, Sharif said he was removed by the Supreme Court on Friday over “baseless allegations.”
Sharif said the opposition campaigned against him in recent years, accusing him and his family of indulging in alleged corruption.
He said his hands are clean and that none of his family members misused government funds.
Sharif said he was pressured by the opposition to step down but refused to accept the demand because he believed the allegations levelled against him were baseless.
He said he felt sad over his removal from office as he was sincerely working for the nation like “a soldier.”
A senior leader from Pakistan’s ruling party says deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has named ex-minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as his successor after the country’s Supreme Court disqualified the premier for concealing assets.
Raja Zafarul Haq says Abbasi’s name for next prime minister was approved by lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League party at Saturday’s meeting, also attended by Sharif.
Because Sharif’s party has a comfortable majority in Parliament, Abbasi is expected to easily win the necessary Parliamentary vote when it convenes next week.
It was also decided that Sharif’s younger brother, Shahbaz, who currently is chief minister of the powerful Punjab province, will contest election to the National Assembly, in the seat which falls vacant with Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court.
Hundreds of supporters of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have rallied in the capital against his disqualification by the country’s highest court.
The demonstrators Saturday marched on a key road in Islamabad and chanted slogans in favor of Sharif before peacefully dispersing.
The rally came a day after Pakistan’s Supreme Court removed Sharif from office after finding that he and his family concealed their assets.
Sharif’s supporters have held similar small rallies in the eastern city of Lahore from where he won the 2013 parliamentary elections.
The rally also came after opposition leader Imran Khan asked his supporters to reach Islamabad on Sunday to celebrate Sharif’s removal. Khan had led dozens of protest rallies in recent years to pressure Sharif to resign on allegation of corruption.
A top leader from the ruling party of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says a meeting of the party’s lawmakers has been convened to consider who will be the country’s next premier.
The move comes after Sharif’s disqualification by the Pakistan Supreme Court over what Raja Zafarul Haq calls a “trivial allegation.” Haq said Sharif will attend Saturday’s meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League party.
Pakistan has been without a prime minister since the Supreme Court removed Sharif from office Friday, claiming he had not been “truthful and honest.”
The ruling plunged Pakistan into political turmoil, although judges asked the country’s figurehead president to “ensure continuation of the democratic process.”
In 2016, documents leaked from a Panama-based law firm indicated Sharif’s sons owned several offshore companies.