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Thursday April 25, 2024

Imran’s serious blows to PMLN may force Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz to return early

After having received serious political blows, one after the other, from Imran Khan in Punjab during the last two consecutive days, the PMLN London is considering coming back to Pakistan before it is too late

By Ansar Abbasi
January 14, 2023
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif photographed along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz. Twitter
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif photographed along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz. Twitter

ISLAMABAD: After having received serious political blows, one after the other, from Imran Khan in Punjab during the last two consecutive days, the PMLN London is considering coming back to Pakistan before it is too late.

For some in the party here, it is already too late and now there is not much that can be done because of the irreparable political cost that the PMLN has to pay because of its early last year decision of removing the Imran Khan government and coming into power.

For the bad luck of the N-League, Shehbaz Sharif-led PDM government is also not performing and the issues like worsening economic conditions and price hike are contributing to further unpopularity of the party. “We had thought that through our good governance and economic turnaround, the PMLN would get its popularity back but that is happening mainly because of growing financial challenges and price hike,” a senior PMLN leader said. The party sources admit that ever since the removal of Imran Khan government, the popularity of the PMLN is on decline whereas PTI is going up and up.

The last two days, it is said, were shocking for the PMLN and its top leadership. How Imran Khan and Pervaiz Elahi have politically outsmarted Nawaz and his party’s calculations came as a bitter surprise for the Leaguers. Nawaz and Maryam, both of whom are in London, were assured that neither Pervaiz Elahi has a majority to get a vote of confidence nor there is any chance of the provincial assembly’s dissolution. To their utter disappointment, Imran Khan succeeded on both counts. Without giving any hint to the Leaguers, Imran Khan first came up with a surprise vote of confidence and succeeded too and then on the very next day against the expectation of the PMLN Pervaiz Elahi advised the Governor for the dissolution of the assembly. While the PMLN top leadership in London was not over with the shock of a successful vote of confidence by Pervaiz Elahi, it got another shock the very next day when Pervaiz Elahi signed the advice for the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly. According to a report following the Wednesday night events, Nawaz had reportedly conveyed his anger to the party’s Punjab leadership and had directed it to ensure the Punjab Assembly is not dissolved. It could not be prevented either. Maryam Nawaz was already planning to come back mid-February but after the PMLN having been seriously jolted by Imran Khan’s moves in Punjab, the London leadership is reconsidering their plan.

Now besides Maryam, there is also consideration about the timing of Nawaz Sharif’s return. In case of election date for Punjab, it is said, both may hurriedly rush to Pakistan.

Imran Khan’s politics, supported by the failures of the PDM government in Islamabad, it is admitted, has considerably shrunk the political space for the PMLN in Punjab, which has been the party’s stronghold for the last few decades. “Expecting from Shehbaz Sharif government and the PMLN’s second tier leadership to create space for the top London leadership to come and make the party popular like before is a faulty policy,” a PMLN leader said on condition of not being named. He added that the leadership does not wait for the space to be created by others but it through its own charisma and political moves wins the hearts and minds of the people. For this, it is said, the London leadership has to come to Pakistan. The PMLN source said that now there is no hurdle in the return of Nawaz Sharif.