Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the nominee for the post of interim Pakistan Prime Minister, today denied possessing illegal wealth and challenged his critics to prove irregularities in his finances. Abbasi, 58, was speaking to the media here after meeting Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Speaking on Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court, the former petroleum minister said, “To my understanding of legal matters, there is no harm in possessing an iqama — it’s just a visa — but nowadays, laws are being interpreted in ways that are stranger than ever.”
“I have disclosed all my assets and their details are published in the Pakistan Gazette. So those levelling baseless allegations (against me) should check their own acts first,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper. When asked about the speculations regarding the involvement of the military in Sharif’s ouster, Abbasi said, “There are no two sides in this country; we all are one and work for the betterment of this country in a united way.” Responding to a question on whether Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would be included in the next cabinet or not given the recent rifts, Abbasi said that the decision had not been taken as yet, the newspaper reported.
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“Chaudhry Nisar has always been a part of PML-N and it will always be that way for us,” he said. Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) has nominated Abbasi, a loyalist of Sharif as prime minister for now but later he would make way for Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister. Abbasi is a veteran party worker and hails from the famous hill resort of Murree which is part of Rawalpindi district in Punjab province. Abbasi, during the meeting, said the party had made a decision and everyone had acted on it. “There is no conflict in the party. We may have given in, but history will not accept this decision (to disqualify Nawaz Sharif) — the nation has not accepted this decision,” he said.