First Hindu in Pak govt in over two decades

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Sharif, who reportedly changed his plans on the insistence of his party cadre, is expected to address PML-N workers and supporters in cities along the GT Road as he makes his way to his home turf.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, or their daughter Maryam Nawaz, are emerging as top nominees to occupy the National Assembly seat vacated by Sharif after he was disqualified from holding office by the nation's Supreme Court last month.

That's what several key leaders in Sharif's PML-N party believe, reported Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

Asif, earlier the defence minister in the Sharif government, will serve as the country s new foreign minister.

"There will certainly be many a slip between cup and lip (prime minister ship) for Shahabaz in 2018". After a long political wrangling, both the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party signed a charter of democracy, which now had been sabotaged. The cabinet comprises of 28 federal and 19 state ministers.

No decision has been made yet on whether Abbasi will remain the PM till the 2018 elections or step down after Shahbaz becomes eligible to take over after winning a by-election, as previously decided. It will be the first show of political strength from Sharif's ruling party since his removal.

A federal minister told a local newspaper that the decision to retain Shahbaz as Punjab chief minister had been finalised.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment in the Panama Papers case, disqualified Sharif under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution over his failure to disclose un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from a UAE-based company.

The former PM said he was now focusing primarily on the welfare of the country and hot the premier's slot but the media, the civil society and politicians need to start a debate on why no prime minister had been able to complete their full tenure.

"The threat of conviction in corruption cases that will be filed by the National Accountability Bureau [Pakistan's anti-corruption agency] is still lurking not only on him but also [his brother] Shehbaz Sharif", Abbas said.

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