–Report claims former PM believes confrontation is the only option left for him after disqualification from public office
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is not interested in mending fences with either the military establishment or the judiciary, according to a report in the local media.
The report claimed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has also denied the possibility of an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) -like deal but has not denied having been in “talks with power centres”.
The report further claimed that Shehbaz, his son Hamza and leaders close to the former Punjab chief minister favoured relegating Nawaz Sharif to the backstage in politics because they feel that “hostility with state institutions is not going to subside” as long as the former PM continues to call the shots.
Meanwhile, members in the Nawaz camp see such reconciliatory moves by the Shehbaz group as an attempt to sideline the former PM. They feel that Shehbaz will not be able to manage the party the same way as Nawaz.
A senior party leader, on the condition of anonymity, commented: “Reconciliatory efforts are aimed at giving Shehbaz political space to secure PML-N’s reins but this is costing the party dearly. The reconciliatory strategy will further deplete and deteriorate our vote bank, weakening the party.”
The report stated that the former PM insisted that confrontation was the only option left for him after he was disqualified in the Panamagate case. It said that Nawaz has nothing to lose politically at this point.
According to the report, PML-N insiders said that the possibility of striking a “deal with the security establishment” was discussed during meetings between the two Sharifs at Adiala Jail.
However, the report suggested that Nawaz made it clear that he was neither willing to tone down his rhetoric nor was he ready to go abroad for any reason whatsoever.
Nawaz Sharif has the support of his daughter Maryam, son-in-law Safdar and ‘likeminded’ leaders like Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Ayaz Sadiq and former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi among others.
Meanwhile, PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique and others reportedly support Shehbaz’s “reconciliatory” posture, the report concluded.