Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, made a plea to his brother, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, urging him to return to Pakistan and lead the election campaign in the country. Shehbaz expressed his desire for Nawaz to become Prime Minister for the fourth time. Speaking at the central general council meeting of the PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) party, Shehbaz stated that he was eagerly awaiting his elder brother’s return so that he could hand over the presidency of the PML-N to him.
Nawaz Sharif has been in self-imposed exile in London since November 2019 due to health reasons. Shehbaz emphasised that this meeting was held due to the looming threat of the election commission’s intervention. Following Nawaz’s disqualification by the Supreme Court and subsequent prohibition from holding any party office, Shehbaz assumed the presidency of the PML-N.
Shehbaz Sharif expressed his belief that the political landscape would change significantly upon Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan. This statement comes in the wake of Pakistan President Arif Alvi signing the Supreme Court Review of Judgements and Orders Act 2023. This act paves the way for Nawaz Sharif to exercise his right to appeal against his lifetime disqualifications within a 60-day window.
Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Pakistan Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case on July 28, 2017, for concealing an unpaid salary from his son. The court subsequently ruled that individuals disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 cannot hold the position of a political party’s leader.
Despite residing in London, Nawaz Sharif is widely believed to maintain significant influence over the PML-N, with decisions within the party often requiring his consent. Shehbaz Sharif took over the leadership of the party in 2018 following Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification as Prime Minister and the subsequent ban on his presidency.