Pakistan

‘Shehbaz Sharif next prime minister if PML-N sweeps to power’

Shehbaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: With the next general elections scheduled next year, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seemed to have decided as to who will be its nominee for the coveted post of premiership if the party sweeps to power.

Quoting sources, ARY News reported, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif will run for a National Assembly seat in the next general elections. In case, the party wins the elections and find itself in a position to form the government, the younger Sharif will be its candidate for the premiership.

These reports emerge a day after ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif get into a huddle with close aides, including Shahbaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sources said the moot decided that any attempt aimed at executing minus-Nawaz formula or any action in contrast to the constitution would not be acceptable to the party leaders and workers.

It was further decided that any confrontation with state institutions will be avoided. No one except the elder and younger Sharif will give statements on policy matters. The leadership decided that the Sharif family will face corruption cases, sources claimed.

The ruling party has been reeling from reports of rifts within the ruling family and party over the leadership vacuum created in the aftermath of the July 28 disqualification verdict.

Lately, the former prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif told a foreign newspaper that the family had decided to give her a leading role in the party – which she denied ever saying that hours after her statement made headlines in Pakistan.

She further said the PML-N was not a “divided house.”

Ms Sharif and her uncle Shehbaz Sharif seemed to have emerged as possible heir to the party after the elder Sharif’s disqualification, with some senior party leaders questioning Ms Sharif’s credentials to head the party.

The rumours o a rivalry between Ms Sharif and her cousin Hamza Shehbaz Sharif had also been doing rounds since the ouster of her father and the by-election on Sharif’s vacated seat in the National Assembly.

The reports that the Punjab chief minister earlier this month mediated between the two cousins in a bid to quell the rumours of rift within the family.

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