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Pakistan PM in tight spot after court forces Punjab power transfer

Experts say confrontation threatens to paralyze Sharif's government

Supporters of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad, after it ordered that the PTI's candidate should be made chief minister of Punjab on July 26.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's ruling coalition is on shakier ground after a week in which the country's top court forced it to hand power in Punjab, the country's most populous province, over to the opposition led by ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Experts fear the political standoff between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's camp and Khan's opposition will paralyze governance just as the country faces a worsening economic crisis, amid rocketing inflation and a desperate push to shore up dwindling foreign reserves.

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