PML-N leader reveals he tendered his resignation on January 3
After Maryam Nawaz was elevated to the key party position, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tendered his resignation as senior vice-president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying that it is not feasible for him to share the same rank with Maryam.
Earlier today, reports surfaced that Abbasi had resigned over differences with the party's decision to appoint Maryam to the same position as him.
The appointment, earlier this month, made Maryam the third most powerful figure in the party after her father, PML-N supremo and three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and her uncle Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister and the party's president.
"I don't have any objections [to Maryam's appointment]. It's the party's and its president's discretion. I don't have any reservations," Abbasi said while speaking on Geo Newsprogramme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath" on Wednesday.
"I tendered my resignation on January 3," he added.
Hitting back at critics, Abbasi said whether people like it or not dynastic politics does not disqualify anyone. "We should leave it to the people."
Hours before the former premier's statement, Maryam, during a gathering in Bahawalpur, defended the dynastic politics and came down hard on those censuring her recent promotion.
"A lot of people are furious over dynastic [politics]. The nation’s love is not called a dynasty, it is a democracy," she said.
In response to a question, Abbasi said that a person should have faith in the party's leadership, but insisted that "if a consultative process takes place, it would be better".
"I had also told earlier that when Maryam [holds the reins of the party], then I would not prefer staying in the same office [...] because when you stay, a difference of opinion results in grouping within the party and that isn't in anyone's favour," he said.
According to the seasoned politician, he is a member of the PML-N and will stay there, ruling out reports of a separate political party's formation. "I am a worker of the PML-N and will keep working in whichever capacity I am asked to."
Not taking credit away from Maryam's hard work, the former PM also said that the PML-N vice-president had made a space for herself within the voters' and people's hearts.
On the possibility of delaying polls, Abbasi said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would have to take a decision based on the circumstances. "However, if they [polls] are delayed, the decision will be changed in court. In my opinion, they should be held in line with the Constitution."