–PML-N leadership decides to make Shehbaz Sharif party president on basis of his ‘performance’; formal announcement to be made by CEC
–Deposed PM says conspiracy being hatched against him to end his political career
–Slams judiciary, says ‘after paralysing the executive, they have also snatched away the authority of parliament to make laws’
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership on Thursday reportedly decided to make Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif the next party president in the aftermath of the deposed premier’s disqualification.
Just a day after the disqualification by the Supreme Court from heading the party, the former PML-N chief chaired a meeting of the party’s top brass at Punjab House, Islamabad, to ponder over the names for the new party chief.
Nawaz was barred from heading the party after the SC ruled that the person disqualified under Articles 62 and Article 63 is ineligible to be a party chief.
Former prime minister reached the Punjab House following his appearance before the accountability court in the graft references filed against the Sharif family as per the Panama case judgement.
A large number of PML-N workers and supporters gathered in the grounds of the Punjab House welcomed him and chanted pro-Nawaz slogans, after which the sacked party head took to the roof of the building and waved to his supporters.
The PML-N leaders unanimously agreed that Shehbaz should lead the party as he is a “non-controversial and influential person”.
According to reports, when Nawaz asked leaders from all provinces for recommendations, they unanimously agreed that Shehbaz’s performance has been excellent.
The meeting also contented that Shehbaz’s appointment as the PML-N president will help improve the strained ties between state institutions, which had gone sour following the elder Sharif’s hostile stance towards the state institutions.
Earlier in the day, insiders said that wife of Nawaz Sharif, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing treatment for cancer in London, is likely to be made the party head, but sources privy to the meeting confided in Pakistan Today that the younger Sharif will be heading the party after his brother’s disqualification. They further said that Maryam Nawaz and Kulsoom Nawaz’s names did not come under consideration during the meeting.
The official decision of Shehbaz’s presidency will be taken after the meeting of the party’s central executive committee (CEC). Over the course of the meeting, Nawaz reportedly stayed silent for most of the time and preferred listening to the party leaders.
PML-N Chairman Zafarul Haq had told reporters that the party’s central working committee and Nawaz Sharif will appoint the party’s interim president next week.
Nawaz’s daughter Maryam, Senator Pervez Rashid, State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Federal Privatisation Minister Daniyal Aziz, State Interior Minister Tallal Chaudry and other senior party leaders were present at the meeting.
Regarding the SC’s verdict, a majority of the party leadership decided that party will not contest the decision in the courts as, in the past, appeals filed by the party had met dead ends.
During the meeting, the former PML-N president also appeared to be in an amusing mood as he shared jokes with participants regarding horses. Maryam Nawaz tweeted with a video posted on Twitter with a caption: “Listen to a joke about horses by Mian sahib.”
‘گھوڑوں’ کے بارے میں لطیفہ سنیے میاں صاحب سے 😂 pic.twitter.com/MOGsqSoLau
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) February 22, 2018
‘THEY’ WANT ME GONE:
Speaking to reporters after the appearance before the AC earlier in the day, Nawaz Sharif claimed the certain elements were conspiring against him in a bid to oust him from the political arena of the country for the rest of his life.
“I am not surprised by the verdict of the court,” Nawaz said.
In an apparent reference to the judiciary, the ousted prime minister lamented that “after paralysing the executive, they have also snatched away the authority of parliament to make laws”.
Nawaz was alluding to two landmark judgements of the SC in Panama Papers case and Elections Act case that disqualified him from the post of the premiership and party leadership, respectively.
On July 28, 2017, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court for violating the Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, whereas Nawaz was disqualified under the same articles on February 21, 2018, to head his own party as a result of the annulment of section 203 of the Elections Act 2017 which had paved way for Nawaz to head the party after his ouster.
He said that they first paralysed the executive and snatched its authority and now with Wednesday’s decision they have done exactly the same with the Parliament.
“Find an article in the Constitution ─ you may be able to find it ─ through which you can take away Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s name. And if you do not find it, then take help from Black’s Law Dictionary,” adding that they” just want to disqualify him for life.”
“Now, only I am left. My name Muhammad Nawaz Sharif remains. If you want to snatch this as well then do it,” he said.
“Now they—though he didn’t mention who the ‘they’ are— are further deliberating over disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from politics for life. What is all of this?” he questioned.
He claimed that the court had declared the Elections Act 2017 as being person-specific, although the same law had originally been created by former PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and abrogated by a martial law administrator.