ISLAMABAD: It’s not clear yet whether Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is in London just to look after his ailing brother or he is there to deliver a message from those who are reportedly seeking an in-house change in the National Assembly. Sources told Daily Times while the top PML-N leadership wants Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recover as soon as possible, some of them propose installing an interim prime minister to better run the government affairs. The prime minister would undergo open-heart surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) in London. Cardiologists say it might take him a month to fully recover and travel back to Pakistan. According to government officials, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would take care of the governance-related matters in his absence. Sources said the matter of prime minister’s health was discussed among Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. It was learnt that the army chief was concerned at the health issues of the prime minister. He prayed for the successful surgery of the prime minister and speedy recovery. The army chief suggested the prime minister should take complete rest and must not let governance and political issues deteriorate his health. The interior ministry issued a statement on Sunday clarifying media reports on the meeting. It explained the meeting was not secret and that the interior minister discussed the situation after the drone attack on Mullah Akhtar Mansour with the army chief. Political analysts in Islamabad observed the health issue provided the prime minister an opportunity to step aside for a while. They opined the enquiry into the Panama leaks would be seen more credible in the absence of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister of Pakistan. And the Sharif family would be able to take a politically acceptable stance on his brief ouster giving health reasons. Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party senior leader Moula Bakhsh Chandio suggested the name of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as the interim prime minister. He said that his party would have no objection if Chaudhry Nisar becomes the interim prime minister. However, empirical evidence demonstrates that Sharifs never tolerated anyone from their party to attain the top executive slot. Those who understand the personality of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif believe he will never step aside voluntarily. Rather, he would let the system collapse and create another October 12, 1999, like situation. Perhaps, therefore, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali was compelled to say that no one could obtain resignation from the prime minister by force. Absence of the prime minister on medical grounds also stirred a constitutional debate. First to raise the matter was former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, he said there was no provision of deputy prime minister in the Constitution and the only option before the prime minister was to step down. He observed the country should be governed by the interim prime minister, until PM Sharif recovers and is re-elected. He held there was no provision of a deputy prime minister in the Constitution The Prime Minister’s House quickly issued a clarification saying under Article 90 of the Constitution, the prime minister could run state affairs through his cabinet. The clause 2 of the Article reads: “In the performance of his functions under the Constitution, the Prime Minister may act either directly or through the Federal Ministers.” While, all those questions remain unanswered, the Sharif family did its spadework to deal with any future possibility. Sources said in several informal meetings PM Nawaz Sharif did listen to the members of his kitchen cabinet on the issue of interim prime minister, but never expressed his opinion or decision. Whether or not they have the blessing of their political boss, as many as seven aspirants were in line to become the interim prime minister, in case the need arises. It was also suggested in one such meeting that a constituency from Lahore could be vacated to enable first lady Kulsoom Nawaz become Member of the National Assembly to eventually replace her ailing husband. However, this proposal is time consuming and may not be practically possible in the given scenario. Another proposal having Shahbaz Sharif as the prime minister was also given by a ‘loyal’ minister, but the Punjab chief minister refused it bluntly in respect of his elder brother. Sources said the doctors had advised the prime minister to avoid hectic schedule and addressing public rallies because of his health conditions. Instead he ignored their advice and addressed the public meetings to answer the allegations levelled against him and his family by his detractors.