'Nawaz eyes fourth term as PM within two years'

Javed Latif hints early elections could be in the cards to pave way for PML-N supremo's fourth stint as PM

RAMEEZ KHAN May 02, 2024
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif addressing a rally in Nankana Sahib on January 24, 2024. PHOTO: @pmln_org


Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Javed Latif has raised red flags for his own central government, hinting that early elections could be in the cards within the next two years to pave the way for Nawaz Sharif's fourth stint as country’s prime minister.

Latif dropped the comments during an interview with a private TV channel where he said whether the elections take place in two or five years, the PML-N supremo will take the reins of power for the fourth time.

Pressed to explain how Nawaz could reclaim the top spot within two years, especially with his own brother currently occupying it, Latif said it would be possible through elections. “The elections can happen tomorrow.”

He predicted that even those who once obstructed Nawaz’s path to a fourth term as premier would now rally behind him.

Read more: PTI hints at lodging FIR against PML-N leaders

He pointed out that a party with a two-thirds majority often struggles to complete its term. How then, he questioned, can this government, lacking a simple majority and propped up by the crutches of two parties —a setup orchestrated by 'someone else' —expect to endure its full term?

The senior PML-N politician further warned that the withdrawal of support from even one coalition party could jeopardise the government’s survival.

Latif is the only remaining active party member who continues to take swipes at his own party's central government.

Given the track record of his colleague Rana Sanaullah—who, after throwing jabs at his own party's central government, promptly joined the same cabinet he accused of being chosen by the establishment—many in the party view this as Javed's desperate attempt to bargain for a position in the government.

A source within the Prime Minister's Office revealed that Sanaullah was brought into the cabinet to exert control over him. The source said he was a senior party leader and president of Punjab, adding that any action against him—even if approved by Nawaz Sharif—could have been harmful to the party's interests.

Also read: PML-N bigwigs to steer clear of by-polls race

He remarked that the situation was particularly embarrassing for Sanaullah, given that he ended up joining the very same cabinet he had previously mocked.

When questioned about whether Rana Sanaullah and Ishaq Dar's appointments were decisions made by Shehbaz Sharif, he said he was not at liberty to divulge any specifics, noting that in the PML-N party, Nawaz Sharif remains the founder and his decisions reign supreme.

He said that Javed, inspired by Rana Sanaullah, might have chosen to go all out. He added that it was up to Nawaz Sharif to assess his party leaders who deviate from the party line.


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