INTERNATIONAL

The Pakistan Army offered Sharif two choices: the prime ministership or the Punjab chief minister position for his daughter. References

According to party insiders, Nawaz Sharif chose to nominate his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif for the coveted prime minister position instead of pursuing his goal of becoming Pakistan’s prime minister for a record-breaking fourth term. This was because the influential Army offered him the choice between accepting the premiership and stepping back to allow his daughter to take over as Punjab’s chief minister.

Though the 74-year-old three-time premier was “sidelined” despite the previous declaration on the premiership, Shehbaz Sharif’s candidacy for the position of prime minister by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo Nawaz Sharif has sparked quite a controversy within the PML-N ranks.

The Press Trust of India was informed by sources inside the PML-N that Nawaz Sharif made the decision to step out from the prime minister’s race in favor of his 50-year-old daughter and political successor, Maryam Nawaz.

Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, is shown in the middle with his daughter Maryam.
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“If Wawz Sharif had been elected prime minister and led the coalition government for a fourth time, his daughter would not have had the opportunity to become chief minister of Punjab. Nawaz gave up his desire to be prime minister for a fourth time in order to be with his daughter, a party official said.

The sources said that after his party’s dismal showing in the elections held on February 8, Nawaz Sharif was presented with two options by the military establishment.

Over its more than 75-year history, the Pakistan Army has governed over a coup-prone Pakistan for more than half of that time. As such, it has significant influence over security and foreign policy decisions.

“The first was to take the top job for his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif and appoint his daughter Maryam as Punjab’s chief minister; the second was to become the premier of the coalition government in Islamabad and name Shehbaz Sharif the chief minister of Punjab. Another report said that Nawaz selected option number two.

According to the insider, Nawaz Sharif had to be sidelined at the end of the day for whatever reason since Shehbaz Sharif, 72, was a military favorite.

Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, is shown in the middle with his daughter Maryam.
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In the contest for prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif defeated his older brother Nawaz Sharif because the PML-N was unable to secure a simple majority in the 266-member National Assembly.

This week, the PML-N’s announcement that Shehbaz Sharif will be their prime ministerial candidate also created a lot of attention on social media.

Resentment at Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination was seen in one of the top trends on X throughout the nation, “Pakistan ko Nawaz do (Give Nawaz to Pakistan)”.

On X, some people questioned whether Nawaz Sharif’s political career was over.

Prior to the general elections, the PML-N declared that Nawaz Sharif would be the party’s choice for the top position and launched a full-fledged media campaign.

Maryam said on Wednesday that the PML-N’s inability to get a decisive majority in the elections is the reason for her father’s decision to resign from the top position.

In the 266-member National Assembly, a party has to win 133 of the 265 contested seats in order to establish a government.

The lower house (National Assembly) is led by the PTI-backed independent victors of former prime minister Imran Khan, with 92 seats, followed by the PML-N with 80, the Pakistan Peoples Party of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari with 54, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with 17 seats.

Maryam is now scheduled to become Punjab’s first female chief minister, a significant province home to more than 120 million people.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by former prime minister Imran Khan, has claimed that Maryam would take over as chief minister based on their “stolen mandate,” meaning her appointment lacks legitimacy.

Shehbaz Sharif, on the other hand, is prepared to establish a six-party alliance early in the next month in order to rule.

With the addition of 60 women and 10 seats for minorities, the total number of general seats won by these six parties, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s tally, comes to 152. This indicates that they can easily secure the minimum number of 169 needed to form the government at the Center.

After the general elections on February 8, none of the three main parties—the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf—were able to achieve a majority in the National Assembly and so form a government on their own.

In Pakistan, 47.6% of voters participated in the election held on February 8, which was less than the 52.1% voter participation in the last election in 2018.

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