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Saturday February 24, 2024

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi quits as PMLN senior vice president

Says he made it clear to Nawaz three years ago it'd be impossible to continue with Maryam Nawaz if she's elevated to top office

February 01, 2023
Former prime minister and PMLN Senior Vice President (SVP) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The News/File
Former prime minister and PMLN Senior Vice President (SVP) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The News/File

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and PMLN Senior Vice President (SVP) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has resigned from the party office and decided to continue to work for country’s wellbeing through the forum of Reimagining Pakistan.

In a brief chat with The News here at the Parliament House Tuesday evening, he brushed aside the impression that he had been working for the second extension of former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa (retd).

Abbasi disclosed that when he visited London, he told PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif that if the government was forced to accord extension to Bajwa, it would be better to quit the government rather than giving in to pressure. He also rejected the impression that he lobbied for making any general the army chief.

Abbasi said he had made it clear to Nawaz Sharif about three years back that it would not be possible for him to continue with Maryam Nawaz if she was elevated to party’s top office.

To a query, he said he had not talked to Maryam Nawaz ever since her return from London. “I am happy that her surgery has been successful.

Abbasi recalled that he stepped down from the party office in an hour of the announcement of Maryam Nawaz appointment as Senior Vice President. My earnest prayers are for her,” he said. He made it clear that he had never been party’s chief organiser at any point in time. He maintained that he would continue to stay with the PML-N until death but returning home would be his next step if party parts ways with him.

When asked if he is as another Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan in making within PML-N, he replied with a laughter, and said, “I am not an over ambitious political worker.” Abbasi, who is a member National Assembly (MNA) from Lahore, said his “Reimagining Pakistan” forum is not for or against any party and masses have it with enthusiasm. More and more people are participating in forum’s activities, he added. The forum is hosting its next seminar in Karachi on the 18th of this month. He reiterated that the Reimagining Forum is not a political party. He urged its critics to cooperate with it instead creating confusion about its work, and said, “We are impressing upon the people to analyse the situation calmly and find a way out to deal with the complexities being faced by the nation.” Abbasi regretted Imran Khan has been abusing the parties and the leaders of the ruling alliance day and night while these parties are not doing anything to stop his foul-mouthing.