Shahbaz Sharif nomination as PM is PML-N strategy to iron out differences with establishment: BBC Report

Shahbaz Sharif nomination as PM is PML-N strategy to iron out differences with establishment: BBC Report

ISLAMABAD - Nawaz Sharif has named his brother Shahbaz Sharif for the coveted slot of Prime Minister Candidate of the PML-N in a meeting at his residence in Jati Umra on Wednesday.

Political analysts say that the decision is based on party’s strategy to iron out differences with the establishment, BBC reported.

Shahbaz Sharif has been in good books of the powerful Pakistani establishment and in past also has been acting as deal broker with the Pakistani establishment.

Party’s MNA Rana Afzal opined the announcement by Nawaz had elucidated the situation. “There was criticism over some perceived misunderstandings, with other parties speaking of possible divisions within the party,” Afzal said. “Things have become clearer now.”

There was a common perception that Nawaz’ stern reaction to his disqualification by the top court had generated a difference of opinion within the party.

While the former PM had been accusing judiciary and other institutions of impartiality, Shehbaz had been advising against a dispute [with the institutions].

Journalist Sohail Warraich said that while Shehbaz had always advised his brother to adopt a non-confrontational approach, the move to name Shehbaz for the premiership was rather ‘tactical.’

According to him, the PML-N wanted to benefit in the forthcoming elections with such a move.

On the one hand, the ruling party wants to convey to the establishment that it likes to see a person of their choice as the next premier, while on the other, they want other parties to know that someone as credible as Shehbaz is their premiership nominee.

“Shehbaz is a versatile leader and enjoys the praise of the masses as an administrative and political leader,” Afzal said. “This decision has paved way within the party for the next elections.”

On whether the PML-N had approved of the so-called minus-one notion, he said: “Nawaz will still become the premier if he is allowed to contest the polls, but he can’t do so [after being disqualified for the slot].”

However, Nawaz’ daughter Maryam Nawaz is seen as the political heir to Nawaz in the backdrop of her consistent support to her father during the NA-120 electioneering and appearance in the accountability courts.

“Maryam has never been seen as a candidate for the premiership but her role in the next elections is going to be based on her evolving political stature.”

Irrespective of Nawaz or Shehbaz’s potential role, nomination of the latter is a clear message to the establishment and several other quarters of the country, he concluded.