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The ruling PML-N on Monday cleared the way for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to be re-elected as the party's president.

During a meeting of the party's Central Working Committee (CWC), PML-N leaders agreed to amend the party's constitution so that any person could assume the presidency even if that person did not hold public office.

After deliberations, the PML-N amended Section 120 of the party constitution. Later the amendment was approved by the Central Working Committee.

PML-N chairman Raja Zafarul Haq presided over the CWC session, which was also attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and interim president Senator Sardar Yaqub Nasir.

Senator Mushahidullah Khan, also present during the session, expressed complete faith in the former premier.

Earlier in the day, an informal advisory session was held after Nawaz returned to Punjab House after appearing before an accountability court. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Dr Asif Kirmani were present during the session along with the chief minister.

Nawaz had appeared before the accountability court early on Monday after being summoned in connection with three graft cases prepared by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him and his family.

However, he was not formally charged with a crime as his lawyer argued that all of the accused in the case must be present in court before they could be indicted. The accused — Nawaz; his children Hussain, Hassan, and Maryam; and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar — are now expected to appear on October 9 to be formally indicted.

The court has issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the men and a bailable warrant for Maryam, likely keeping in mind that she may need to stay with her ailing mother in London.

The PML-N has also convened a meeting of its general council today and tomorrow [Oct 3] to formally begin the process of re-electing ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as the party's president.

Earlier, there had been reports that the ousted prime minister would fly to London on Thursday to inquire after his wife, Begum Kulsoom, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer at a private hospital in the United Kingdom.