New Delhi: Nawaz Sharif is busy picking his successor after he was barred from holding public office by the Supreme Court over the Panama Papers case.
Top sources in Sharif’s ruling PML-N party have told CNN-News18 that his wife Kulsoom Nawaz and brother Shehbaz Sharif are the frontrunners.
Here’s a look at the two contenders
Born into a Kashmiri family in Lahore, Kulsoom Nawaz is a professor. She attended Islamia College in Lahore and later graduated from Forman Christian College University. Kulsoom married Nawaz Sharif on April 2, 1971 and the couple went on to have four children — Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.
Kulsoom Nawaz has largely stayed away from politics. During General Pervez Musharraf-led military regime, Kulsoom was arrested by female members of the Pakistan Army Corps of Military Police and immediately shifted to her local residence. Sharif named Kulsoom as the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in 1999, and she remained on post till 2002.
According to sections of the Pakistani media, the reports submitted to Pakistan supreme court by the Joint Instigation Team (JIT) on financial assets of Sharif family also mentioned Kulsoom Nawaz.
According to the JIT report, her total assets wen up 17.5 times in one year — from Pakistani rupees 1.64 million in 1991-92 to rupees 28.62 million in 1992-93. Her reported income was just Pakistani rupees 279,400.
Nawaz Sharif’s brother is currently the chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province. The first major public office held by Shehbaz was when in 1988 he was elected to the Punjab Provincial Assembly and later to the National Assembly in 1990.
Shehbaz was again elected to the Punjab Assembly in 1993 and named Leader of the Opposition. Elected a third time in 1997, Sharif was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Punjab on February 20, 1997.
After the military coup deposed the country’s government in 1999, Shehbaz spent years of self-exile in Saudi Arabia, returning to Pakistan in 2007. He was appointed chief minister for a second term after the PML-N's victory in the province in the 2008 general elections. He was elected as chief minister of Punjab for the third time in 2013.
Since Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly — the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament — he cannot succeed Nawaz Sharif immediately and would have to contest elections.