Home Latest News Nawaz Sharif Elected PMLN President ‘Unopposed’

Nawaz Sharif Elected PMLN President ‘Unopposed’

Addressing party’s general council after election, Nawaz accuses PTI founder Imran Khan of ‘helping’ to ‘derail’ democracy in 2017

by Staff Report

File photo of Nawaz Sharif

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Tuesday elected Nawaz Sharif as party president “unopposed,” replacing Shehbaz Sharif, who had been elected to the top office after a court ruling barred his elder brother from holding public office over alleged corruption.

Nawaz lost his party president in 2018, a year after being ousted from the Prime Minister’s Office due to a Supreme Court ruling in the Panama Papers scandal. The ouster has since been a sore point for the PMLN, with the party and Nawaz alike repeatedly maintaining the country’s progress was derailed due to the “unconstitutional” acts of members of the security establishment and the judiciary.

Addressing his party’s general council meeting after his unopposed election as the president, Nawaz reiterated that Pakistan would be in a difference place if his governments weren’t routinely toppled, halting progress. Lamenting “leg pulling” of politicians since 1977, he said this practice had weakened the country.

“We should accept that we have shot ourselves in the foot,” he regretted, maintaining the country’s woes were of its own making. He pointed to his efforts to broker peace between Pakistan and India, noting Islamabad had violated an agreement with Delhi during the Kargil standoff, which had proven difficult to overcome. Maintaining he would never have complained if he were ousted as prime minister over corruption, he said his acquittal in cases against him years after his convictions “proved” the flaws in the judiciary.

Nawaz said his party workers should celebrate his election as president not because of his return, but rather because it conclusively “threw into the wastebasket” the decision of his disqualification from former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar. “Saqib Nisar had given the ruling to remove me from the party’s presidency forever,” he said. “Tell him to come here today and see what happened to his decision,” he added.

Lamenting that “four to five” people had defied the public mandate through his ouster in 2017, he expressed pride in his party’s workers for not bowing to pressure in difficult situations. He also praised his younger brother, P.M. Shehbaz Sharif, for his “resilience” and thanked him for standing by him despite “offers” to become prime minister in exchange for abandoning him. “I reject the top ministry being given in exchange for disloyalty,” he quoted Shehbaz as saying.

He also congratulated his daughter, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, for keeping the party’s politics alive when it was facing the brunt of state persecution.

Referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, the former prime minister questioned which of the cases against him were fake. He also asked Khan whether he was the “third force” behind his ouster, referring to a leaked audio of then-ISI chief Zaheerul Islam. He alleged that Khan had “helped” the security establishment “topple” the PMLN government In 2017 and “derailed” democracy.

Development under Nawaz

In his address to the gathering, P.M. Sharif voiced his complete trust in Nawaz, adding he had returned the responsibility of leadership to his elder brother after being entrusted with it six years ago.

“I believe that if we work day and night, under Nawaz Sharif’s guidance, Pakistan will come out of the crises and it will become the same Pakistan that Nawaz Sharif left in 2017,” he said, lamenting individuals who “hated” Nawaz had conspired to remove him from office through fake cases.

“But today, under Nawaz’s leadership, we are working in Punjab and the federation,” he said, reiterating allegations of the 2018 elections being rigged against the PMLN.

In a message aimed at the judiciary, the prime minister warned that if development did not return to Pakistan, there would be “no one.” Maintaining this was not what they wanted, he said he believed most judges were invested in Pakistan’s future. “[But] some black sheep [are helping PTI founder] Imran Khan,” he said, noting Nawaz was often denied bail when facing cases. “But today, there are discussions about how he [Imran] can be sent out on bail and his cases dismissed,” he said, without elaborating on who was engaging in such discussions.

Vowing that Khan’s “conspiracies” would all be foiled, he regretted that the PTI founder was “running campaigns” against the families of Army personnel.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment