PML-N Punjab calls on Nawaz Sharif to assume party presidency after relief in cases

Published April 26, 2024
PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Lahore on Friday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Lahore on Friday. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah on Friday requested party supremo Nawaz Sharif to assume its presidency after his relief in legal cases against him.

The senior PML-N leader was addressing a press conference in Lahore flanked by Javed Latif and Khurram Dastgir after an organisational meeting of the PML-N Punjab wing concluded with the unanimous passing of a resolution advocating for Nawaz’s appointment as the party president.

Sanaullah said now that Nawaz had secured legal relief in cases against him, it was the “wish” of PML-N Punjab with the same request to the PML-N supremo to assume the presidency again and lead the party through “this difficult time”.

“We have faith that under his leadership, the PML-N will achieve greater success than ever before,” Sanaullah added.

The former interior minister said that the PML-N Punjab had carefully considered the political climate before and after the general elections when putting forward its request.

“They have determined that he is fit to take the role,” Sanaullah said, adding that proposals were drafted and would be brought before senior party leaders upon Nawaz’s return from his trip to China.

Sanaullah said that the federal government and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reiterated their commitment today to alleviate the inflation gripping the economy.

“They are working day and night to resolve this and have seen some success,” he added.

Sanaullah further said that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz was working towards a similar goal of “extending relief … to the common man” and tackling inflation.

He said the party session had expressed its satisfaction with both the federal and Punjab governments and stood by them.

“The party has made peoples’ lives easier and ensured progress in the country. This will only increase under the leadership of CM Punjab … and the prime minister,” Sanaullah said.

Responding to questions from reporters, Sanaullah maintained that the party’s stance would remain unchanged if Nawaz assumed a leadership role. “This [change in leadership] happened before in 2017 … we gave him a founder’s role. His stance has not changed.”

He clarified that there was no factionalism within the party. “Both Shehbaz and Nawaz have faith in each other’s leadership and are loyal to each other,” Sanaullah said.

When asked about whether he was allegedly snubbed for major roles, he said it was “a claim we are discussing internally.”

“We will discuss it and issue a statement within a few weeks,” he added.

The PML-N supremo was disqualified in July 2017 from the office of prime minister due to his involvement in the Panama Papers case. He last held the role of party president in February 2018 when the Supreme Court ruled that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot serve as head of a political party and Nawaz was subsequently removed as the PML-N president by the election commission.

Since his party formed the federal government, the three-time prime minister has kept a low profile, though has expressed discontent at his disqualification. “Had my government not been sent home in 2017, Pakistan would have progressed in leaps and bounds,” he said at a gathering in Lahore last month.

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