By: Khalid Iqbal
Islamabad (August 01, 2017): National Assembly is going to elect new Leader of the House at 3:00 pm today (Tuesday). The post of Prime Minister was fell vacant after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court last week. Court said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not Sadiq and Ameen anymore, because he tried to hide the fact regarding his Aqama.
Moments after the verdict, Nawaz Sharif announced that he’s stepping down from the seat of the prime minister. Later election commission de-notify Nawaz Sharif, it means Nawaz Sharif even can’t lead the party as per the political act.
Late last week, the parliamentary party meeting of PML-N formally announced the names for the permanent and interim Prime Minister candidates. According to the decision Shahbaz Sharif will replace his elder brother permanently but because he is not the Member National Assembly, therefore meeting decided to announce the name of interim candidate for the position and who was none other than Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Abbasi will become PM for 45 days as per the constitutional requirement.
Here are the brief profiles of all six candidates including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (PML-N)
Shahid Khaqab Abbasi is the PMLN candidate to succeed Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister of Pakistan for the interim period, during which Shahbaz Sharif will contest by-election on NA-120 seat to replace him.
Born in Murree on December 19, 1958 Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been elected member of National Assembly for six times. He is graduated from University of California Los Angeles and completed his Masters from George Washington University.
After working on various projects in the U.S, he also served in many capacities in Saudi Arabian oil industry.
He was elected first time as MNA in 1988 after the death of his father. He was re-elected for the second time in 1990 and then also in 1993, and for the Fourth time in 1997. He was also appointed Chairman of national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines, where he served until 1999 Pakistani coup d’état in which then Chief of Army Staff, Pervez Musharraf, overthrew elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his elected government.
Abbasi was arrested and his tenure as Chairman was terminated for allegedly involving with Nawaz Sharif not to allow PIA aircraft carrying Pervez Musharraf to land. He remained in jail for two years and was acquitted by the court in 2001. He contested the National Assembly seat as PMLN candidate in 2002 again during Musharraf rule but unsuccessful for the first time.
He was elected for the fifth time to the National Assembly as PMLN candidate from NA-50 constituency Rawalpindi in 2008. Abbasi was re-elected to the National Assembly from NA-50 Rawalpindi as PMLN candidate in 2013 general elections as well. He recently served as Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
With PMLN enjoying majority of seats in 342-member National Assembly, Abbas is expected to be elected the next prime minister of Pakistan.
Khursheed Shah (PPP)Born in 1952, Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah hails from Sindh’s Sukkur region. He started his parliamentary career as MPA and later as MNA. He studied at Sukkur’s Islamia College and obtained the degrees of MA and LLB.
He has been affiliated with Pakistan People’s Party since inception of his political career and has been elected MNA four times. In 2002, Shah was elected from NA-98 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur – I) and won from NA-199 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur – II) in the 2008 general elections.
He was also elected to the Sindh Assembly in 1988 and made a provincial minister holding a wide range of portfolios – education and transport being some of them. Shah also served as a federal minister for education during Benazir’s second government and recently for labour and manpower and religious affairs.
Shah enjoys an influential position in the party and was its chief whip in the 2008-2013 National Assembly.
During the 2008-2013, he also head the parliamentary committee on the appointment of the chief election commissioner. He was also among the candidates for the position of prime minister-ship after the Supreme Court disqualified Yousuf Raza Gilani. Moreover, Shah was member of the bipartisan panel which was tasked with forging a consensus on a name for caretaker prime minister prior to the 2013 general elections.
Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP)
Syed Naveed Qamar born in September 22, 1955 in Karachi. He completed his B.Sc (Hons) in 1976 from Manchester University, UK followed by an MS in Management from Northrop University, USA in 1978 and MBA from California State University, USA in 1979.
He has served as Federal Minister for Finance and Privatization in 1996, Chairman, Privatization Commission in 1993, and Provincial Minister Sindh for Information in 1990. He was previously elected MPA, Sindh (1988-1990), MNA (1990-1993), MNA (1993-1996) and MNA (1997-1999). His father, Qamar Uzaman Shah, served as a deputy speaker of Sindh Assembly & Senator during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s rule. He is a leading figure of Minhaj-ul-Quran International Sindh.
Sheikh Rasheed: (PTI and AML)
The veteran and seasonal politician Sheikh Rasheed was nominated as candidates for the interim Prime Minister by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, here is brief look on his political career.
Sheikh Rasheed was born on November 6, 1950 and started his political career from students politics in Rawalpindi. He took active part in movement against dictator Ayunb Khan as he was arrested and sent to jail.
After winning councilor seat of local bodies in 1985 during Ziaulhaq tenure, he formally stepped up in practical politics, later he elected as MNA in the same year.
In 1993, 1997 he was elected as MNA on PML-N ticket, however he left the PML-N after Pervez Musharraf coup in 1999.
In 2002 he was elected MNA third time but on Musharraf supported PML-Q seat but got defeat in 2008 general elections. In 2013 he was elected again as MNA on the platform of his own party Awami Muslim League with the support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI).
He also enjoyed ministerial slots during Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf governments.
Sahibzada Tariq Ullah (Jamaat-e-Islami)Sahibzada Tariq Ullah born(23 Sept, 1961) in Rehankot Bala, Upper Dir, Pakistan. He is a JI party member and National Assembly member from NA-33(Upper Dir-cum-Lower Dir (old Upper Dir)) and also JI parliamentary leader in NA. He is chairman of SAFRON Sub Standing Committee. He was elected as District Nazim Dir Upper twice.
Kishwar Zehra (MQM-Pakistan)She was elected as a member of the National Assembly on reserved seat for women from Sindh in general election in 2008 and 2013 on MQM ticket.
It is worth mentioning that MQM has signaled that it will support PML-N candidate and most likely that MQM will withdraw its candidate from the race.