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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairs Punjab government meetings

An official handout issued after the meeting said the three-time former Prime Minister issued directions to ministers and officials regarding different infrastructure projects, including the underground train and metro bus, farmers’ plight, electric bikes for students and Ramzan relief package

PTI Lahore Published 20.03.24, 06:42 AM
Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif File image

Nawaz Sharif, the supreme leader of the PML-N, assumed a “de-facto” role of the Punjab chief minister, a post officially held by his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and presided over three administrative meetings of the provincial government.

Maryam Nawaz took over as the first woman chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province last month.

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However, her father Nawaz Sharif, 74, assumed a “de-facto CM role” and issued directions to the authorities concerned and ministers regarding different projects in the province, which used to be the bastion of his party.

An official handout issued after the meeting said the three-time former Prime Minister issued directions to ministers and officials regarding different infrastructure projects, including the underground train and metro bus, farmers’ plight, electric bikes for students and Ramzan relief package.

However, the veteran leader chairing the meetings raised many questions since he holds no official position in either the provincial or federal government and is officially only a National Assembly member.

Sharif was elected from Lahore on a National Assembly seat in February 8 polls, which were marred by allegations of rigging. Jailed former Premier Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has alleged that its mandate was stolen by the PML-N.

Independent candidates backed by Khan’s PTI won the maximum number of seats in the National Assembly.

He was the party’s candidate for the Prime Minister slot, but his dream to don the premier’s cap for the fourth time was shattered as his party couldn’t secure a simple majority in the lower house; thus, his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif emerged as favourite of the military establishment to lead a six-party coalition government in the Centre.

After the unexpected results of the February 8 polls, Sharif had gone into a low profile.

The PTI calls the governments of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz in the Centre and Punjab, respectively, “mandate thieves” imposed by the establishment. After Sharif presided over the meetings, questions are being raised as to what capacity the elder Sharif presided over the Punjab government’s meetings and issued directions.

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