APP45-280524 LAHORE: May 28 - Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif congratulates former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on being elected unopposed as President of PML-N. APP/ABB

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Tuesday elected Nawaz Sharif as the party’s president “unopposed” — six years after a court ruling had removed him from office. Nawaz had lost the prime minister’s office in 2017 and the presidency of his party in 2018, as a result of the Panama Papers ruling. Ever since, the PML-N has constructed a narrative centred around the catchphrase “mujhy kyun nikala” (Why was I removed?), in reference to ex-PM. However, Nawaz was elected as the party president today once again as no other party leader submitted their nomination papers against the party supremo for the top post. While addressing the party’s general council meeting after being elected to the top post after a gap of six years, the former prime minister said that Pakistan would have progressed if his governments had not been toppled repeatedly. He said that Pakistan would have held a unique position and power in Asia if the progress under his government had not been halted. Nawaz lamented the practice of “leg pulling”, which he said had been going on since 1977 and had weakened the country.  “We should accept that we have shot ourselves in the foot. Believe me, we have never gone to anyone with a begging bowl,” he added. The three-time prime minister reiterated that he would have never complained if he had been ousted from the prime minister’s post for corruption. Nawaz told the party members cheering for him on the occasion, to celebrate not because he was re-elected as the PML-N president but because the decision by former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar in the Panama Papers case “had been thrown into the waste basket”. “Saqib Nisar had given the ruling to remove me from the party’s presidency forever. Tell him to come here today and see what happened to his decision,” Nawaz added. “Four to five people compromised the people’s mandate,” he said while referring to his ouster after being elected by the masses. The newly elected PML-N president said that he felt pride that his party members had never cared about any difficult situation.  He also hailed his brother, PM Shehbaz for his “resilience” as he always stood with him, saying that many people tried to create rifts between them by offering Shehbaz the post of prime minister but he didn’t give into it. “Shehbaz Sharif said, ‘I reject the top ministry being given in exchange for disloyalty’,” Nawaz said.  He also congratulated his daughter, Punjab Chief Minister Mariam Nawaz, for keeping the party active.  Turning his guns towards the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder, Nawaz asked which of the cases against Imran Khan were fake. He also asked Imran whether he was the “third force” behind his ouster. The PML-N president said that it was Imran who “helped” in toppling the PML-N regime in 2017 and “derailing democracy”.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here