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Cracks in the PML-N: Riaz Pirzada wants Shahbaz Sharif to head the party

Shahbaz Sharif

News Analysis |

In less than an hour after the Sharif family was indicted on Thursday, PML-N leader, and federal minister Riaz Pirzada while lashing out at the current workings of the party said that CM Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif must take over the leadership of PML-N. He said that this is in the interest of the current government. “If the party has to survive, a spade should be called a spade,” said the 69-year old lawmaker.

Pirzada came into limelight after walking out from the National Assembly in protest to a letter issued by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) which alleged him and 36 other members of having ties with terrorists and sectarian outfits. While saying that the letter was genuine and written by a government.

The PML-N government still at large, it would be interesting to see whether the party continues to be involved in the case of the family or decide to steer clear and act as a ruling party

He said: “The fact is that we are affectees of terrorism, as three members of my family, including my father, was martyred by the terrorists while my close relatives escape life attempt. We are against all forms of terrorism and being in the politics for the last 50 years, we have always served the masses and never considered using unfair means.”

Read more: Panama papers: A long road to indictment

Pirzada while addressing a press conference today said that anchorperson Arshad Sharif did a good job in bringing the IB letter to the fore. He said that the case against Arshad and ARY must be withdrawn. It is noteworthy to mention that the IB registered a case against ARY News and Arshad Sharif.

Sources close to the PML-N and people who have closely assessed the party’s strategy are certain that with all legal options more or less exhausted, the politics of confrontation cannot be ruled out

Pirzada, widely regarded as a clean and honest politician said that justice must be done while saying that the prevalence of injustice in the country is attributable to the dysfunctionality of the Parliament. He categorically asserted that the Parliament delivers justice, not the army.

The PML-N is seemingly battered by the indictment of the Sharif family. Watchers and pundits believe that there are rifts within the party which will exacerbate as the Sharif family faces a stringent trial. Analysts have time and again pointed out to the differences between the politics of Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif Corruption Trial: Should there be a live transmission from…

Pirzada came into limelight after walking out from the National Assembly in protest to a letter issued by the Intelligence Bureau which alleged him and 36 other members of having ties with terrorists and sectarian outfits

The latter admittedly believes that institutional harmony is in the interests of the country and the party. However, sources close to the PML-N and people who have closely assessed the party’s strategy are certain that with all legal options more or less exhausted, the politics of confrontation cannot be ruled out.

The Shahbaz-Nisar faction, also succored by the return of MNA Hamza Shahbaz is, according to speculations pitted against the Nawaz-led group which believes that it can wriggle out of the marsh through ramping up the conspiracy narrative. However, with the PML-N government still at large, it would be interesting to see whether the party continues to be involved in the case of the family or decide to steer clear and act as a ruling party.