Battle lines drawn within PML-N

Hassan NaqviReporter

31st Jul, 2021. 07:47 pm
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LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif has made up his mind that his daughter and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz will lead the party in the future instead of his brother and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, a source confirmed to BOL News on Saturday.

It is no more a secret that there are currently two different narratives within the PML-N and the internal rift between the Nawaz camp and Shahbaz camp is only getting worse with every passing day.

“Shahbaz Sharif has made it clear to Nawaz Sharif that if the narrative of attacking state institutions is going to continue and Maryam’s decisions are to be followed, he will resign,” an old PML-N guard told BOL News.

Shahbaz has also asked his brother to come back to Pakistan to run the movement for the supremacy of the Parliament because he believes Maryam’s uncalled for bashing of the state institutions has damaged the party, resulting in PML-N losing elections in both AJK and Sialkot by-polls.

“The real problem is that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, just like established monarchies across the world, wants his daughter to be in the driving seat when it comes to matters regarding the party,” a senior party leader added.

He said it became evident when he chose Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to become the prime minister over his own brother.

“There was trust deficit that Shahbaz and his son Hamza would take over the party and Nawaz wanted his daughter Maryam to lead the party,” the party sources added.

“Likewise, Shahbaz Sharif never reached the airport when he arrived in Lahore before the 2018 general elections. So, the internal rift and trust deficit was very much there for a long time but Shahbaz always kept quiet because of immense respect for his elder brother but now matters have spiralled out of control,” a senior party leader who is close to both the camps told BOL News.

However, it still remains to be seen whether Shahbaz will resign himself or his brother will phase him out.

“All is not well in the Sharif family; their internal tussles are crystal clear now,” he added.

When asked about the two contrasting narratives prevalent in the party, former governor Sindh and Maryam Nawaz’s spokesperson Muhammad Zubair refused to comment.

“PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif is not resigning and he has also clarified this through his statement yesterday,” Zubair said, when asked about Shahbaz Sharif’s alleged resignation from the party.

“Shahbaz has to take the stand once and for all now if he wants to stay relevant in [the] PML-N and the country’s politics. Otherwise, he may be shown the door by his elder brother any day,” a senior party leader who wished not to be named said.

He said alternatively he had to convince his brother that uncalled for bashing of the state institutions is not only damaging the party internally but might also give a decisive blow to the future of the PML-N’s politics.

“Both brothers need to brainstorm and come on the same page if they want to save their party,” he maintained.

“Shahbaz has even failed to clinch the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the party in the AJK elections. He is weak and indecisive and lacks courage and believes in optics. It is the right time that he gathers some courage. It is a do-or-die situation for him,” another leader who is close to Shahbaz camp added.

When contacted PML-N’s spokesperson Marryam Aurangzeb was unavailable for comments.

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