Nawaz Sharif to ‘play active role to strengthen political system’

LAHORE: After getting back Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) presidency last month, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to play “an active role in national politics.

The development came after the PML-N president held a meeting with senior party leaders — including Rana Sanaullah and Khawaja Saad Rafique — which lasted for nearly two hours, the sources said, adding that Nawaz decided to become more active in the political affairs of the country.

The politico would hold more meetings with the party’s leaders and workers besides playing an active role in strengthening the prevailing political system, they added.

Nawaz had lost the prime minister’s office in 2017 and the presidency of his party in 2018, as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the assets beyond means case.

After the ouster of Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in April 2022, the Nawaz-led party came to power.

The parties under the flag of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) got a chance to transfer the power to the then-largest opposition party — PML-N — and elected Shehbaz Sharif as the new premier for the remaining 1.5 years of the rule.

The Nawaz-led party was reelected to power after forming a coalition with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in the Centre after the general elections this year.

The PML-N chief refused to become the prime minister as he did not want to head the coalition in the Centre as no party was able to secure enough seats to form the majority government following the February 8 polls.

The PML-N and its allies had obtained a two-thirds majority in the 336-strong National Assembly — which required the backing of 224 lawmakers — after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) distributed the reserved seats among the ruling partners that were denied to the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

The PML-N-led coalition government — comprising PPP, MQM-P, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), and National Party (NP) — lost the two-thirds majority in the lower house for now after the ECP suspended the membership of lawmakers elected on reserved in line with the Supreme Court’s order last month.

Strengthening its image on political canvas, Nawaz was elected unopposed as the party president in May 2024 after a six-year hiatus as no other party leader submitted their nomination papers against the party supremo for the top post.

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