LAHORE: Former Senator, federal minister for information and central information secretary of Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) Tariq Azeem has decided in principal to join Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).
The decision is expected to be formally announced during a joint press conference hosted by PML-N’s President Nawaz Sharif on Thursday at Jati Umra, Raiwind.
According to an official PML-N handout, Azeem will announce his affiliation with the PML-N before a press conference.
According to PML-N sources Azeem’s services for the Sharif family and for the party had impressed Nawaz Sharif, who has accepted the former PML-Q information secretary into the party.
Sources maintained that Azeem’s brother, Shujaat Azeem, who was a pilot for former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (assassinated in 2005), performed a role in the deal between the Sharifs, Pervez Musharraf and Arab leaders given his close association with Hariri. They said that Shujaat Azeem was also close associate of Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri and the current Prime Minister of Lebanon.
It is pertinent to mention that late Rafik Hariri was Saudi King Abdullah’s brother in law. Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide sanctuary to the Sharif family under the 10 year deal with Musharraf.
The sources further added that Shujaat Azeem was closely related to Mansoor Ijaz, the chief character in the Memogate scandal. They said that during the peak of Memogate scandal in Supreme Court, Tariq Azeem regularly visited Raiwind where he managed the calls between Ijaz and Nawaz Sharif. They said among other things which forced Sharif to move Supreme Court over Memogate, Ijaz and Azeem both played their due roles in convincing Sharif to file a petition.
Sources said that Azeem’s services for PML-N wer commendable as he formed his separate group comprising 5 Senators in the Senate and supported PML-N. It is pertinent to mention that this separate group though never joined other factions of PML-Q’s Senators in the Senate called Likeminded Senators. Rather, Azeem has supported PML-N on every issue.
They further said that Azeem’s services would be utilised to strengthen the party’s relations with Middle East countries. Should Sharif come into power, he would then be able to fulfill claims of bringing the energy crisis into control by taking oil loans from the Arab states.