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May 5, 2019

PML-N announces new Sindh and Karachi office-bearers amid internal rifts


May 5, 2019

In the recent major restructuring of the party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) central leadership has also announced a few new office bearers for Sindh and its capital Karachi where the party has been suffering badly due to factionalism.

The PML-N has chosen former finance minister Miftah Ismail for the post of the provincial secretary general; whereas, veteran party leader Ali Akbar Gujjar has been appointed as the provincial senior vice-president.

For running the party’s affairs in Karachi, the PML-N has appointed Muhammad Salman Khan and Nasiruddin Mehmood for the posts of the president and secretary general respectively. Khan contested the 2018 elections from NA-248 District West and ranked third by securing more than 20,000 votes. Mehmood has also been a former Karachi office bearer of the party.

The newly appointed office bearers said the party had reposed trust in them to reorganise the party in the province, especially in Karachi.

Gujjar said the party’s current revamp showed that it was united under its central leadership. “Under the leadership of provincial president Shah Muhammad Shah and secretary general Ismail, the party will reorganise in the district and devise an action plan for mobilisation of the party at lower levels,” Gujjar told The News. He said the PML-N was also preparing for the upcoming local government polls.

However, many local leaders and workers of the party are of the view that differences in the party’s Sindh chapter have deepened to such an extent that only Nawaz Sharif, the supreme leader of the party, President Shahbaz Sharif, or Maryam Nawaz, could resolve them by intervening in the internal crisis.

According to such local leaders, the PML-N has been facing a crisis of leadership in Sindh, and especially in Karachi, because of powerful intra-party groups led by party stalwarts in the province — Shah, Nihal Hashmi, and Saleem Zia.

A senior PML-N leader said that every group was trying to accommodate its blue-eyed boys on the vacant posts in the party. If the issue was not resolved immediately, it could damage the party, he added.

However, Gujjar said the party’s leadership had been working on resolving the differences among the party leaders.

A day earlier, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was appointed senior vice president of the PML-N, while Maryam Nawaz was made vice president in a major reshuffle of the party.

The reorganisation came after the party surrendered two important parliamentary positions due to party president Shahbaz Sharif’s expected long stay in London for medical treatment.

A statement from the party said the president made the announcement after consultation with PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif over the decisions.

According to the PML-N statement, Abbasi was appointed senior vice president of the party while Ahsan Iqbal was made general secretary. The reshuffle saw Marriyum Aurangzeb being retained as secretary information and the party’s spokesperson, while former finance minister Ishaq Dar took over responsibilities as president of the party’s International Affairs Committee.

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