Former Pak premier Nawaz Sharif officially nominates younger brother Shehbaz for PM's post

Shehbaz Sharif, 72, led a coalition government for 16 months till August 2023


Shehbaz Sharif is set to become cash-strapped Pakistan's prime minister once again after the parliamentary party of the PML-N party headed by three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday formally nominated his younger brother to head a coalition government and fix the economy.

The high-level meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party was held in Islamabad with party supremo Nawaz Sharif, 74, in the chair.

Shehbaz Sharif, 72, led a coalition government for 16 months till August 2023 before the caretaker government took over following the announcement of general elections.

Nawaz officially nominated his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif and party loyalist Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for the posts of prime minister and speaker of the National Assembly. The parliamentary party endorsed Shehbaz's name and also reposed its full confidence in the leadership of Nawaz, PML-N central deputy secretary Attaullah Tarar said in a statement after the meeting.

The nomination of Shehbaz Sharif as the next prime minister by Nawaz Sharif, who himself was eyeing the plum post for a record fourth time, had surprised many within and outside the party.

Nawaz Sharif said his younger brother Shehbaz is the best choice for the prime ministership, especially in Pakistan's current circumstances.

He lauded Shehbaz's performance as the prime minister during the tenure of the Pakistan Democratic Movement after the ouster of the cricketer-turned-politician and former prime minister Imran Khan.

The way he stopped the country from defaulting is unprecedented, Nawaz Sharif said.

He expressed the hope that Pakistan would emerge out of the current crises in the next one or two years.

Pakistan is very injured at this time and we will have to fill its wounds, Nawaz said.

“We will have to take the country out of these difficulties and I believe that we will have to make difficult decisions in the next two years, but if your intention is pure then God will surely help you. We have to give ease to the public, we have to fix the prices of electricity and gas, we have to make Pakistan stand on its feet and if you move forward with a well-thought agenda then this journey will become easy,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn News.

Meanwhile, outgoing National Assembly speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has called the National Assembly session on Thursday after President Dr Arif Alvi, known for his closeness to jailed former prime minister Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, refused to do so.

The President is of the view that Parliament is not complete because the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is yet to clear the air over the allocation of reserved seats to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), following the PTI-SIC merger' for this very purpose.

Khan's PTI-backed independents have emerged as the largest number of winners followed by PML-N and PPP. However, Khan has alleged that the February 8 elections were the most controversial and rigged polls in the country's history.

He has accused the PML-N-Pakistan Peoples Party post-poll alliance, which also has four other parties, as "mandate thieves" set to form the government in the Centre.

The PML-N has the full backing of the military establishment to form the government both in the Centre and Punjab province.

As per the Constitution, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly to form a government. Independent candidates a majority backed by 71-year-old Khan's PTI party won 93 National Assembly seats. The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has 17 seats.

As part of the PML-N-PPP alliance deal, it was decided that Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz would be the chief minister of Punjab province. Maryam, the political heir of Nawaz, took oath on Monday and became the first woman chief minister of any province in the country.

The other part of the deal was that PPP's senior leader former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari would be getting the President's post.


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