The independent candidates, mostly backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) are leading with 97 seats.
There is quite an uneasiness among the seasoned second tier leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over the appointment of Maryam Nawaz as senior vice president and chief organiser of the party.
Sources in the PML-N lament that there has been no consultation done prior to making this appointment, which has made Maryam Nawaz the third most powerful figure in the party after her father Nawaz Sharif and uncle Shehbaz Sharif, the sitting Prime Minister, The News reported.
Many senior party leaders are upset with this appointment, The News reported. Following the recent notification issued by the PML-N president, Maryam Nawaz has formally become the second senior-most leader in the party after Shehbaz Sharif.
Officially because of the Supreme Court’s decision, Nawaz Sharif cannot hold any office in the PML-N’s hierarchy but he continues to be the party’s supreme leader. “This decision is undemocratic and is aimed at furthering the Sharifs’ political dynasty,” a senior PML-N leader told The News.
He said that hardly any senior party leader outside the Sharif family was consulted while making this appointment. Now Maryam Nawaz becomes the second senior-most after President Shehbaz Sharif for being both the senior vice president and chief organiser.
One of the PML-N leaders lamented that the Sharif family or those closely associated with them have the first right to hold every key positions whether within the party or in the government. He, said that the PML-N’s supreme leader is Nawaz Sharif, his younger brother is President of PML-N and also the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz is senior vice president and chief organiser of PMLN. Shehbaz Sharif’s elder son Hamza Shehbaz is the opposition leader in Punjab. Ignoring all others, Hamza was picked up as Punjab chief minister last year while his father was the Prime Minister of Pakistan, The News reported.
Many in the party think that the likes of Khawaja Saad Rafique and Malik Ahmad Khan would have been much better choice for the office of Punjab chief minister but the Sharif family decided in favour of their own son. Hamza, however, could survive as Punjab Chief Minister hardly for a few months.
None of the two sons of Nawaz Sharif are interested in politics whereas Shehbaz Sharif’s younger son Suleman Shehbaz is looking after the family business. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is closely related to Nawaz Sharif, is again quite influential within the party because of the same reason.
Dar is also the President of PML-N’s overseas chapter. Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law and Maryam’s spouse Capt (R) Safdar is the President of PML-N’s Youth Wing, The News reported.
According to a PML-N leader, even Junaid Safdar, the son of Maryam Nawaz, is being propagated by the party’s social media team as the future of N-League. Junaid, however, has not yet joined politics.
The senior PML-N leadership outside the Sharif family will even be subordinate to Junaid when he will be in politics, a party source said, adding that democracy has taken a back seat with regard to internal politics of PML-N, The News reported.