Exit of Nawaz Sharif

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Pakistan's ruling party will nominate Punjab's chief minister Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister ahead of elections next year, after his older brother resigned from the post following a historic Supreme Court ruling on Friday that barred him from office.

Hussain's decision follows a Supreme Court ruling on the Panama Papers case involving Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he was disqualified after being deemed unfit to hold office.

According to party sources, it was a hard decision to bring Shehbaz to Islamabad as it may create political vacuum in Punjab, which PML-N can not afford ahead of next year elections.

The younger Sharif - who has so far been unscathed by the corruption allegations engulfing his brother's family - holds only a provincial seat, so must be elected to the national assembly before becoming the new prime minister.

Meanwhile, the opposition has welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling against Sharif as a sign of progress and greater accountability in the country. Addressing the PML-N s parliamentary meeting, Sharif expressed disbelief at the grounds for his dismissal and vowed to continue to struggle for the supremacy of the Constitution.

Pakistan's parliament will meet on August 1 to elect a new prime minister after the resignation of Nawaz Sharif. "His departure would have an adverse effect on Pakistan's foreign relations", said Farooqi.

Political observers are of the view that Nawaz Sharif could use the victim card in politics and the next year's elections as he has been removed for the third time before completion of his five-year constitutional term.

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"Not a single penny (of) corruption has been proved in this decision against Nawaz Sharif and the people of Pakistan also know it", information minister Maryam Aurangzeb told reporters after the decision.

Khan is celebrating Sharif's ouster Sunday in Islamabad.

The process to appoint a new PM started yesterday when Sharif chaired the PML-N meeting and proposed the name of Shehbaz and none of the participants raised any objection.

"I see the state of freeze between India and China continuing until the foreseeable future and we might even expect surge in cross-border terror activities", said Mr Mansingh, who was also India's envoy to Washington. It was unclear who will be appointed to take over the post till the next general elections, scheduled for 2018.

He was the chairman of national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from 1997 to 1999, until General Pervez Musharraf overthrew Sharif´s second government.

The move comes amid a serious political crisis that has gripped Pakistan, with constitutional experts and lawmakers wondering who is running the government after Sharif's disqualification.

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