From Our Correspondent
LAHORE: Although the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has refused to accept the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report, and made it quite clear that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will not step down, however the possible candidates for premiership are under consideration in Plan-B if PM has to leave his office. According to the details made available here, the names of Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are being discussed as Nawaz Sharif’s replacement. Sources have further revealed that two federal ministers are against Chaudhry Nisar’s appointment as the prime minister because they do not consider him a senior member, and have openly opposed him as a nominee. The probability of selecting a candidate from any coalition party is also being discussed, and JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman is a strong candidate for that. Some groups are also backing Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq for the aforementioned post as he had defeated PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the 2013 general elections, and his appointment as PM would surely hurt PTI chief. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar were the best options to replace Nawaz Sharif, but the JIT report has knocked out complete Sharif family, therefore, their names are not under consideration anymore. Furthermore, a responsible government official has informed that Nawaz Sharif will nominate the next PM himself if has to leave his office, but all the authorities to take official decisions will remain with him.