LAHORE: PML-N sup­remo Nawaz Sharif will contest in general elections as the party expects his legal troubles to go away within two months.

Talking to reporters on Thursday, PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah said Mr Sharif would not wait for by-polls to contest the elections and expressed hope that cases against him would be decided before the Feb 8 elections.

There had been speculations among the party ranks that if Nawaz Sharif failed to get a ‘clean chit’ from courts by Feb 8, he may contest by-polls — and not general elections — after clearing his name in the cases.

To a question whether the party was asking Nawaz Sharif to become the president of PML-N, Mr Sanaullah said, “Shehbaz Sharif will remain the president, and the elder Sharif will continue to play his role in the current position.”

Javed Latif demands urgent hearing of PML-N supremo’s pleas

Asked whether the PML-N would forge an alliance with PML-Q in the upcoming polls, he said Nawaz Sharif would soon meet Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and discuss this matter.

According to sources, PML-N is reluctant to accommodate PML-Q in upcoming polls.

It is learnt that the party will be given the option to merge within PML-N if Chaudhry Shujaat dema­nded three seats — two for his sons and one for Tariq Bashir Cheema.

Mr Sanaullah also reiterated that his party was ready to talk with “PTI minus May 9 suspects”.

He also claimed that former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was not angry with the leadership.

Separately, in a press conference on Thursday, PML-N leader Javed Latif urged the judiciary to fix Mr Nawaz’s appeals in Al-Azizia and Avenfield corruption cases for hearing at the earliest.

He said Mr Nawaz and PTI chief Imran Khan should get justice before the polls. “If any of them is guilty of any offence, they should be punished.”

Explaining the party’s slogan vote ko izzat do (res­­pect the vote), Mr Latif said it was a call for all ins­titutions “to remain within their constitutional role”.

‘Farah-Bushra-Buzdar nexus’

The PML-N leaders also lambasted Farhat Shahzadi alias Farah Khan, a close friend of former PM Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, over a disproportionate increase in her assets.

In a separate press conference, PML-N Deputy Secretary General Atta­ullah Tarar demanded the arrest of Ms Bibi for allegedly being an accomplice to her friend in corruption.

He said Ms Shahzadi’s assets worth billions came to the fore as she and her husband committed massive corruption under the nose of Mr Khan and with the help of his wife and former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar.

The PML-N leader said the couple, Ms Bibi and Mr Buzdar, were “the members of the gang that looted Punjab and made billions”.

He urged the apex court to decide the Al-Qadir Trust case against Mr Khan and his wife.

He vowed to recover the “looted money” if PML-N came to power after the Feb 8 polls.

Meanwhile, Mr Sana­ullah said investigation agencies are working to bring back Ms Shahzadi from abroad.

She had left the country for the UAE days before Mr Khan’s government was sent packing in April last year.

Her husband, Ahsan Jamil Gijjar, a co-accused in the assets beyond means investigation, also fled to the United States, where the couple is said to be living at present.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2023

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