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Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz frontrunner to replace Imran

Shehbaz Sharif, brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has been the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan since August 2018

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Sunday, April 10, 2022, 07:32 AM IST

Pakistan's Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif in Islamabad | AP
Pakistan's Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif in Islamabad | AP
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Shehbaz Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in Pakistan’s National Assembly, is widely expected to replace Imran Khan as the country’s prime minister if the no-trust vote against the current government succeeds. The no-trust vote is scheduled to take place at 10 am on Saturday.

He has been leading the Opposition’s efforts to topple Imran Khan’s government and has consistently been identified as the Opposition’s sole candidate for the post of prime minister.

Shehbaz Sharif, brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has been the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan since August 2018.

The president of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) has previously served as the chief minister of Punjab thrice, making him the longest-serving CM of the province.

He was elected to the Punjab provincial assembly in 1988, and to the National Assembly in 1990. He was again elected to the Punjab assembly in 1993 and named leader of the Opposition. He was elected as chief minister for the first time in 1997.

After a military coup deposed the government in 1999, Shehbaz along with his family spent years of self-exile in Saudi Arabia and returned to Pakistan in 2007.

He was appointed the CM of Punjab for a second term after the PML-N's victory in the province in the 2008 general elections.

He was elected as the CM of Punjab for the third time in 2013 and served his term until his party's defeat in the 2018 general elections. He was nominated as the PML-N president after his brother Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from holding office. He was nominated as the leader of the Opposition after the 2018 elections.

On March 28, Shahbaz tabled the no-confidence resolution against Khan.

On 28 September 2020, Shehbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau on charges of laundering over Rs. 7,328 million in a systematic scheme involving close associates and family members.

The Bureau had previously frozen 23 different properties belonging to Sharif, his son, and other family members, claiming that these assets were acquired beyond known sources of income.

The NAB alleges that the Shehbaz Sharif family used fake transactions to receive foreign funds, with the transactions being made through a company owned by Sharif's son-in-law, Haroon Yousaf.

On 14 April 2021, he was released on bail in a money laundering reference by Lahore High court.

Shehbaz remained incarcerated pending trial. He was temporarily released on parole to attend his mother's funeral prayers in November 2020.

The Sharif family and supporters say the cases were politically motivated. Both brothers have faced numerous corruption cases in the National Accountability Bureau, including under Khan's premiership, but Shehbaz has not been found guilty on any charges.

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Published on: Sunday, April 10, 2022, 07:32 AM IST