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Saturday March 02, 2024

Inappropriate to keep same party rank as Maryam’s: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that it was inappropriate for him to share the same party rank with Maryam Nawaz after her elevation to the post of senior vice-president and chief organiser

By News Desk
February 02, 2023
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi . Screengrab of a Twitter video.
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi . Screengrab of a Twitter video. 

KARACHI: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that it was inappropriate for him to share the same party rank with Maryam Nawaz after her elevation to the post of senior vice-president and chief organiser.

“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 News’ programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath” on Wednesday.

“I tendered my resignation on January 3,” he added.

Reports surfaced earlier Wednesday that Abbasi, the former senior vice-president of the PML-N, had resigned from office over differences with the party’s decision to appoint Maryam to the high-ranking position. The major decision, which was taken earlier this month during Maryam’s stay in London, made her 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.

Maryam — the scion of the Sharif family’s political dynasty, during her recent months-long trip to London — has been tasked with “reorganising” the party by her father, PML-N supremo and three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

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.”