Shehbaz needs Nawaz’s nod to vie for PM office: Maryam

Published December 22, 2021
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz speaks to the media at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz speaks to the media at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Maryam Nawaz has said it will be heartening for her to see party president Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister of Pakistan but it is subject to the approval of the party’s supreme leader, Nawaz Sharif.

Talking to journalists after attending the hearing of her appeal by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the Avenfield Apartment reference on Tuesday, Ms Nawaz said the party leadership, including Mr Shehbaz himself, had authorised the party supremo to make a final decision on the candidature for the top slot.

In response to a question whether it would be acceptable for her to see Mr Shehbaz in the PM Office, the party vice president said: “Shehbaz Sharif is a fatherly figure, he is president of the PML-N, but the decision on his candidature is to be taken by the party leadership.”

The statement came a week after ex-premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi clarified that his comment about Mr Shehbaz being the party’s candidate for prime minister’s slot (in the next general elections) must not be construed as a message to the military establishment about consensus on his nomination.

Says NAB using delaying tactics in court as it has no proof against her

“I had said this in the context that the party president usually is the candidate for prime minister’s slot. However, a final decision in this regard will be taken by the party leadership under its Quaid Nawaz Sharif at the time of the elections,” he had maintained.

Talking about the recent local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ms Nawaz told the media that the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had already made a history of losing consecutive by-elections in almost every constituency. She said the government broke all previous records of bad governance due to which the PTI ticket had become a symbol of disgrace. She said the PTI was facing public wrath owing to skyrocketing inflation.

She took a jibe at the PTI dismal performance in the polls, advising those planning to contest elections on PTI’s ticket in future to wear helmet in public gatherings as people would not going to tolerate them anymore.

Ms Nawaz said Prime Minister Imran Khan should tender public apology for his poor performance and resign from PM Office. Everyone, even PTI’s own lawmakers, were not ready to back him, she said, adding that they had to criticise their own government in TV shows over unprecedented price hike.

She greeted Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for securing majority seats in the local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Responding to another question, the PML-N vice president said rehabilitation of Afghanistan was collective responsibility of the international community.

At the outset, she briefed the media about the court proceedings. She said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed application before the IHC seeking adjournment over the ailment of a prosecutor. She recalled the same NAB had asked courts to hear the case against her on a daily basis even if her ailing counsel had to be brought before court on a stretcher. “The time has changed, the days of their hegemony are over now and they are seeking adjournments on one pretext or another,” she added.

She claimed that NAB had no evidence against her. It for this reason that the bureau had started using delaying tactics in courts, she remarked.

Earlier at the hearing, the anti-graft watchdog filed an application before the IHC informing it of the prosecutor’s ailment and sought adjournment.

Subsequently, the IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani adjourned the proceedings till January 18, 2022.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2021

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