PML-N indicates plan B for making Nawaz Sharif Pakistan PM record 4th time

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. File

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. File
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

Indicating that it has already prepared a plan B to ensure that Nawaz Sharif becomes the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a record fourth time, a senior PML-N leader has said that if there are legal hurdles for this, the party will remove them if voted back to power.

Pakistan is going to the polls on February 8.

The 73-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mr. Sharif returned to Pakistan from London on October 21 after four years of self-imposed exile. After his arrival, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored Mr. Nawaz’s appeals against his conviction in the Avenfield Apartments and Al-Azizia corruption cases but did not fix any date for the hearing. Mr. Nawaz has been on protective bail.

Besides, the three-time Prime Minister is also facing disqualification till 2028 to contest polls in which he also needs a clean chit from the court.

PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah on Saturday said that if there are legal hurdles impeding Mr. Nawaz’s accession to the Prime Minister’s Office for a fourth term, the party will remove them after coming into power, the Express Tribune newspaper reported on Sunday.

“With a stop-gap arrangement in mind, the PML-N seems to have prepared a plan B for ensuring that its supremo (Nawaz Sharif) becomes the Premier for the fourth time,” the report said.

Earlier, the PML-N remained confident that there would be no legal impediments for Mr. Nawaz to become the Prime Minister yet again, and given the kind of concessions extended out to him, it appeared to be a likely possibility.

However, Mr. Sanaullah’s admission of a plan B has revealed that the party might not be all that confident about the prospects of the court cases against Nawaz, it said.

Mr. Sanaullah said PML-N hoped that “frivolous” cases against Mr. Nawaz must be heard expeditiously and decisions should be delivered at the earliest. He added that if there were any hurdles, the party’s decision about Mr. Nawaz becoming the premier would still remain unchanged.

To a question about any strategy to avoid confrontation with the ‘powerful circles’ to ensure Mr. Nawaz completed his fourth term as the premier, the PML-N Punjab chief said the party never had any issue with them in the past as well.

Meanwhile, PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb exuded confidence and said her party’s political rivals can see that Nawaz will become the prime minister after the February 8 elections.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Sunday, the former federal minister said the PML-N’s manifesto will be to provide relief to the people in the cash-strapped country.

“We have to rise above our personal interests. Our political rivals can also see that Nawaz Sharif will become the next prime minister,” Ms. Marriyum said.

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