LAHORE: The PML-N leadership close to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has somewhat endorsed the statement given by former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that “Shehbaz Sharif won’t be given a free hand despite being elected as its president”.
In a special interview with the Express News on Saturday, Nisar expressed the fear that Shehbaz would not be given space and mandate to work.
“Misunderstandings were being spread about the stay of Shehbaz Sharif in London. If he is given the mandate to truly work as the president of the party, there may be many improvements,” he was quoted as saying in the interview.
He also seemed to be well informed of Shehbaz’s return to Pakistan from London.
Replying to another question he said, “Misunderstandings were being spread about the stay of Shehbaz Sharif in London.”
He went on to say that Shehbaz would return to Pakistan on Sunday and was in London for his treatment.
The Sharif camp said that ousted prime minister’s narrative would ultimately prevail in the party, as he has been elected as Quaid, adding Shehbaz would manage day-to-day affairs of the party, but the line and the policy would be set by the former president.
They said that electing Shehbaz as party head was an arrangement to fill the gap after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and to keep the party intact.
“This does not mean Shehbaz Sharif won’t have the space to operate.”
The Sharif camp said, “Different approaches adopted by the Sharif brothers do not mean there is any difference in the party.”
“This is a political party where leaders can have different opinions,” they added.
Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq when contacted denied any difference of opinion in the party leadership.
He said, “The party has one narrative and that is to give respect to the vote.”
To a question regarding apparent differences over the policy lines taken by Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother he said that it was ‘apparent’ and “this difference is just on the outside”. “From the inside, the party is one.”
As to whose policies would prevail, he said the party leaderships’ policy.
Zafar said the policy line was not for one person or one leader to give. He did not however explain the reason for keeping superficially different policy lines by the Sharif camp and the Shehbaz camp.
Punjab government spokesperson Malik Muhammmad Ahmad Khan could not be reached despite his repeated assurances to reply to the questions.
Similarly, Punjab Law Minister Punjab Rana Sanaullah was also not available for comments.