Warrant issued for Pakistani PM nominee
June 22, 2012 -- Updated 0052 GMT (0852 HKT)
It was not immediately clear how the arrest warrant would impact Makhdoom Shahabuddin's candidacy and if he would be arrested.
- NEW: Pakistan People's Party mulls withdrawing the nomination
- PM hopeful Makhdoom Shahabuddin has been linked to a drug scandal
- This comes after Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified from holding office
- The nominee is considered a loyalist of the president
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A day after Makhdoom Shahabuddin was tapped as the ruling party's candidate for prime minister, a trial court in Pakistan issued a warrant for his arrest Thursday, a government official said.
Shahabuddin's name had been linked to a drug scandal when Pakistan's anti-narcotics force began investigating the illegal import in 2010 of the stimulant ephedrine. Shahabuddin, considered a loyalist of President Asif Ali Zardari, served as the health minister at the time.
It was not immediately clear how the arrest warrant would impact Shahabuddin's candidacy and if he would be arrested. The government official who disclosed the development asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media on the record.
Zardari had summoned the lower house of parliament to meet Friday to elect a new prime minister after the nation's top court ruled that Yousuf Raza Gilani is ineligible to hold the office.
Pakistan PM out, now what?
Panetta: Losing patience with Pakistan
Political turmoil in Pakistan
The Supreme Court declared Gilani disqualified retroactive to April 26, the day he was convicted of contempt charges stemming from his refusal to call on Swiss authorities to reopen old corruption charges against Zardari.
The Pakistan People's Party was meeting to decided what to do, a senior party official told CNN. The official told CNN party leaders are reconsidering Shahabuddin's nomination but have yet to make a final decision.
If the party decides against Shahabuddin's nomination, there are other prospects waiting in the wings.
The official said they would be either Qamar Zaman Kaira and Raja Pervez Ashraf, both outgoing ministers who served under former Gilani and are also seen as staunch Zardari loyalists.
Supporters of Gilani and the party say the court's ruling was politically motivated because of bad blood between the Supreme Court's popular Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and Zardari.
Pakistan has been beset by militant activity and political tumult for years.
Fighters from the Taliban and al Qaeda use the northwestern territories as bases for attacks in Afghanistan, and U.S. drones regularly strike militant positions. The United States and the Afghan government have been concerned that the warfare and instability could hurt the government.
But the crisis and a possible departure of the prime minister wouldn't have a seismic effect on the nation's stability and political system because the country's civilian government is dominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party.
The current government's term ends in February. This would be the first time since Pakistan's independence in 1947 that an administration would complete a five-year term.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.