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Rift grows within Sharif family ahead of NA-120 by-polls

LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted by Supreme Court of Pakistan in the landmark Panama Papers case but ex-PM’s ouster still seemed haunting the Sharif family as informed sources said that Nawaz in a meeting on Thursday in Jati Umrah asked federal minister Pervaiz Malik to take over as in-charge of election campaign for his wife, sidelining his nephew Hamza Shehbaz Sharif.

Following the disqualification of ex-PM Sharif, seat for National Assembly from NA-120 (Lahore’s constituency) fell vacant. The by-polls are to be held by next month in the NA-120 constituency.

Deposed PM Nawaz – who was also the ex-party supremo – has reportedly opposed granting authority to Hamza Shehbaz Sharif as in-charge for running a by-election campaign for his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, sources said.

Pervaiz Malik had reportedly suggested Nawaz to let Hamza run the election campaign but his suggestion was declined by the former premier.

Informed sources further said following the Nawaz Sharif’s ouster as Prime Minister, Hamza had said that he was a political worker and would continue his political activism. However, later he had expressed his dismay over being ignored and apprised his close confidantes that he would leave for abroad during the by-election campaign.

The by-election campaign is to be supervised by Pervaiz Malik and Maryam Nawaz, sources said.

On the other side, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson clarified that Pervaiz Malik would lead the election campaign in NA-120 while denying earlier reports suggesting Hamza Shebaz to lead the election campaign for Nawaz’s wife.

On Saturday, Maryam Nawaz – daughter of deposed PM Nawaz Sharif – took to twitter and rubbished the reports of rifts within the Sharif family.

“Those hoping for a rift between Sharif family will Insha’Allah bite the dust,” she said in a tweet while sharing a picture depicting Hamza Shehbaz Sharif and Pervaiz Malik sitting next to each other, chairing a meeting for election campaign.

It merits to mention here that Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif has been asking party leaders to refrain from making scathing statement against state institutions time and again. Recently, the ex-party supremo and former PM, Nawaz Sharif, became subject to much criticism for raging against the judiciary in his ‘homecoming’ rally.

READ ALSO: Chaudhry Nisar to hold key press conference today



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