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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Shehbaz-led coalition govt could succeed or fail as well: Sanaullah

Only solution to get out of the crisis was that PML-N secured a simple majority, says PML-N leader

By Web Desk
March 04, 2024
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah addressing a press conference at PTV HQ in Islamabad, on August 21, 2022. — APP
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah addressing a press conference at PTV HQ in Islamabad, on August 21, 2022. — APP

Although Prime Minister-elect Shehbaz Sharif has the ability to pull the country out of the quagmire, the coalition government at the Centre led by him could succeed or fail as well, said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Rana Sanaullah

Speaking on Geo News Jirga programme, the PML-N leader said that Pakistan could have been pulled out of the quagmire in the next two years if party supremo Nawaz Sharif became the country’s prime minister.

“The PML-N is taking a chance by forming a government that could succeed or fail as well,” he said while speaking on Geo News programme Jirga aired on Sunday.

Sanaullah, the former security czar, said the only solution to get out of the crisis was that the PML-N secured a simple majority in the February 8 general election.

“I cannot term the people’s decision as wrong but I do not agree with this,” the PML-N leader said while referring to last month's polls which saw many party bigwigs including him losing the polls mainly to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates.

The PML-N’s chief political rival Imran Khan-founded PTI took the lead in the recently held general elections with 92 National Assembly seats, followed by PML-N (79) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) (54).

However, no political party won enough seats to form a majority government at the Centre, forcing the PML-N to ally with the PPP and other smaller parties to form a coalition government.

Before the general elections, the PML-N had nominated three-time former premier Nawaz to lead the country but later he pulled out of the PM’s race and nominated his younger brother and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif for the coveted post as he did not want to lead the minority government.

PML-N’s nominee Shehbaz was elected as the country’s 24th PM after obtaining 201 votes in today’s National Assembly session marred by the PTI-backed lawmakers' protests against alleged rigging in the national vote.

Speaking about the election setback, Sanaullah also said Nawaz had floated suggestions multiple times to pull the country out of the crisis but he wanted the PML-N to secure a simple majority.

“In view of the compulsions, Nawaz Sharif thought Shehbaz Sharif has more expertise [to govern the country],” he added.

The former federal minister said Shehbaz has ability to resolve the prevailing challenges facing the country if coalition partners supported him. “The allied parties need to support Shehbaz Sharif with sincerity.”

The PML-N leader said the party has not signed a written agreement with the PPP, however, the Bilawal-led party has assured that it would support the Shehbaz-led government at the Centre.

Race for finance ministry

In the same interview, Sanaullah also put his weight behind PML-N’s senior leader Ishaq Dar, saying that the latter should be appointed as the country’s finance minister.

He said PM-elect Shehbaz Sharif would make a final decision about appointing the finance minister. "There is no doubt Ishaq Dar’s intention is about pulling the country out of crisis.”

He said a finance minister does not take any decision unilaterally and all his decisions are taken following consultation in the federal cabinet.

“Elected representatives should be given a chance,” he said while speaking about the nomination of the finance minister.

PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui, widely believed to be a close confidant of former prime minister Nawaz, said Wednesday he believes Senator Ishaq Dar will eventually be part of the federal cabinet as finance minister.

Responding to a query by The News if Dar would be the next finance minister in the Shehbaz Sharif-led government, Senator Siddiqui said Dar will retire from the Senate in March 2024 and most likely he will be elected again to the Upper House.

Senator Siddiqui said that since the PPP will get the Senate chairman's slot, the idea of Dar being elected as chairman Senate is out of the question.

Ultimately, his place would be in the federal cabinet and, most probably, he would be the finance minister, Senator Irfan Siddiqui added.