With Shahbaz Sharif appointed as interim prime minister on Monday, Pakistani politics has traditionally been dominated by one of two rival family dynasties. Sharif replaces Imran Khan, who was ousted on Sunday, and who took office in 2018 promising to ditch the corruption that surrounds the two families.
Shahbaz, 70, the son of a steelworker in Lahore, is best known as the younger brother of Nawaz, 72, who has held the premiership three times. Nawaz’s fortunes are indicative of the turmoil in the country’s administration in recent decades: his first term ended prematurely after a power struggle with the president, the second due to a military coup and the third because of corruption.
Nawaz was sentenced to ten and seven years in prison in 2018, released on medical grounds and left for London “fighting for his life”. She is getting better now
new silk road
Shahbaz’s image is more solid. He has served as Chief Minister of Pakistan’s main Punjab province on three occasions.
Unlike Nawaz, Shahbaz will have a working relationship with the military leadership, which ultimately governs the line in Pakistan. He is known as a results-oriented official who makes unannounced visits to officials to check if they are working and who has successfully managed several multi-billion dollar projects for China’s New Silk Road to boycott him.
Shahbaz took over the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) when Nawaz was no longer allowed to participate in politics. While leading the parliamentary opposition, he was also arrested for corruption in 2020. The party supporters are convinced that it was a compromise by Imran Khan, which of course does not rule out that some of the allegations are true. A few months later, he was released on bail, and the official trial is still ongoing. The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Pakistan has filed a case against Shahbaz in the United Kingdom for money laundering.
Perhaps Nawaz would have preferred to see his daughter Maryam prime minister. But this 48-year-old MP was also convicted of corruption and temporarily banned from holding a position in the public administration.
Shahbaz is expected to appoint the 33-year-old, the newest leader of the rival Bhutto dynasty, Bilawal as foreign minister. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party joined forces in the impeachment proceedings against Khan, whom they accused of economic mismanagement.
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