Former PM Nawaz Sharif sidelined Shahbaz Sharif to become new PM: Times of India

Former PM Nawaz Sharif sidelined Shahbaz Sharif to become new PM: Times of India

Did disqualified former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif prevent his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif from taking over the top government spot? That's what several key leaders in Sharif's PML-N party believe.Not only did the elder Sharif keep Shahbaz at bay, he may also have "shattered the dreams" of Shahbaz's son Hamza Sharif, who was looking to be given Punjab by his dad who everyone thought would take over as prime minister. Shahbaz is Punjab chief minister and the PML-N has a strong base in the province.

Sharif had said after his disqualification by the country's supreme court in the Panama Papers case that Shahbaz would be prime minister after an interim arrangement of 45 days. 

Now, though, a campaign has been set in motion that is spinning Shahbaz as being much needed in Punjab. PML-N leaders said all that's left is a formal announcement that Shahbaz won't be taking over as prime minister.

"Perhaps Shahbaz missed the golden chance of becoming premier... He has either failed to convince his elder brother or the latter played smart politics to keep him in Punjab," a PML-N leader who is close to Shahbaz told Dawn on Friday.

Another PML-N leader said that Sharif played some "excellent family politics" to keep Shahbaz away from the prime minister's post, after he himself was disqualified by the country's supreme court on corruption charges.

"Nawaz played excellent family politics. First he announced Shahbaz his successor. Later a campaign within the PML-N was built that Shahbaz's absence from Punjab would be disastrous for the party.

However, Malik Ahmad Khan, the spokesman of Punjab's PML-N government, denied there were any differences between the Sharif brothers saying the disqualification crisis had united them even more.

He did add though that the parliamentary party headed by the elder Sharif was authorised to announce it had gone back on its earlier decision to nominate Shahbaz for prime minister.- Times of India