PML-N supremo limits himself to Punjab

Nawaz wants daughter Maryam to become next PM

RAMEEZ KHAN April 17, 2024
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addressing a parliamentary board meeting on December 19, 2023. SCREENGRAB


From overseeing the country's affairs from London in the outgoing term, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif seems to have limited his supervision to Punjab now, leaving the Centre, where his party is leading a coalition government, to his younger brother Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, its allied parties and the ‘powerful circles’.

From holding meetings with the Punjab bureaucracy alongside his daughter, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, to making a visit near his house to keep a tab on the price of a roti, the former three-time premier seems to have occupied himself with the affairs of the provincial government.

One reason for this, which many in his party believe, is his desire to see his daughter Maryam becoming the future premier.

It is also worth noting that Nawaz, despite having cleared himself from all the cases against him, is yet to reclaim the party presidency from his younger brother Shehbaz, who since 2017 has been holding this position -- symbolically that is.

Read more: LHC seeks proof Nawaz chairing govt meetings

This transition of running the country remotely from London, as it was alleged in the outgoing term, to somewhat sliding into obscurity, is seen many within the party as a well-thought-out plan.
One PML-N leader from Punjab, talking to The Express Tribune, said contrary to the media’s impression, the party supremo was not sliding into irrelevancy.

He said to understand why Nawaz was showing little interest in the matters of the federal government, one had to comprehend that the Centre was not even in its own control. It was being run remotely by forces out of its reach and control.

Secondly, he said the PML-N’s major stake was in Punjab, which was no longer the party’s bastion like before.
He added that Nawaz would restore those glory days to ensure the party’s real and authentic revival.
He conceded that the current victory was only on paper.

“The PML-N wants to turn to a real victory by swaying the public in its favour. Therefore, the party is focusing on short-term gains over longer ones.”

The PML-N leader explained that for Nawaz, fixing the affairs of Punjab meant hitting two birds with one stone -- one ensuring the party's revival in Punjab and second to make his daughter a successful chief minister on par with Shehbaz if not better.

“Mian sahib wants to see his daughter as the future prime minister of the country.”

Lastly, he said Nawaz would take back the party’s presidency in the near future.
“Mian sahib is a veteran politician who does not believe in making decisions in haste. He is waiting for the right opportunity to make a formal comeback.”

PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb, who is currently serving as a senior minister in Punjab and deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar, who is the incumbent federal information minister, were reached for comments, but to no avail.

Others party leaders that The Express Tribune spoke with had a similar opinion on the matter but did not wish to be on the record.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ