Brother of ousted Pakistan PM Sharif takes charge of ruling party

The brother of ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally took charge of the ruling party on Tuesday, a day after being outmaneuvered in elections for Senate chairman. The debacle in the Senate was the latest blow to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) following a string of court decisions targeting the party, including the removal of Nawaz from the premiership for graft in July, AFP said. Shahbaz Sharif appeared upbeat during a party meeting in Islamabad, praising his brother’s leadership ahead of general elections due later this year. In late February, the party cleared the way for Shahbaz’s promotion to head the PML-N, spurring renewed speculation that he would be its choice for prime minister if it prevailed at the polls. The younger Sharif, currently chief minister of the powerful Punjab province, is seen as a political dealmaker.