Monday July 22, 2024

After Muhammad Zubair, Abbas Afridi joins list of PML-N deserters

Former federal minister says Nawaz Sharif no longer "relevant" in country's politics

By Web Desk
June 25, 2024
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Abbas Afridi. — X/@AbbasKAfridi
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Abbas Afridi. — X/@AbbasKAfridi

After former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair, Senator Abbas Khan Afridi also joined the list of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) deserters as he tendered his resignation to the senior leadership of the party on Tuesday. 

The former federal minister announced parting ways with the Nawaz Sharif-led party, saying that the former prime minister was no longer "relevant" in the country's politics. 

The development came a day after PML-N president decided to become "active" in the country's political affairs. The three-time former premier, who steered clear of the executive post for a fourth time following the February 8 general elections, is set to increase involvement in the "national politics", sources said on Monday.

However, Afridi was of the view that there was nothing much Nawaz could do as he doesn't have an "executive post", despite his returning to the PML-N presidency last month.

"Nawaz Sharif's grievance with the nation was justified," he said, adding that the senior leadership of the party "didn't remain loyal" to the party president.

Joining the list of PML-N deserters, Afridi also expressed reservations on not being consulted over the military operation, Azm-e-Istehkam, announced by the government to root out militancy from the country in the wake of rising incidents of terrorism.

"No one is willing to listen to our stance. We gave a plan for economic restoration but no one is here to pay heed," he added.

He later sent his resignation to the PML-N leadership.

Afridi's disassociation with the Nawaz-led party comes just weeks after former PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair parted ways with the ruling party. Earlier, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail also parted ways with PML-N.

Nawaz to 'play active role'

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.

However, 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.