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Is Shahbaz Sharif seeking political asylum in UK?

Leaving the PAC chairmanship, the one PMLN had really fought for has raised eyebrows. Has Shahbaz signed a deal? Some political pundits say he is not coming back as there is no other explanation to why Shahbaz would step aside as PAC chairman.

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News Analysis |

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, vice chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Foreign Minister of Pakistan said on Friday he expected the PML-N to offer the parliament a “plausible” explanation behind Shahbaz Sharif’s “shocking” decision to step down as Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) chairperson and his party’s parliamentary leader.

“As deputy parliamentary leader of PTI, I expect that PML-N will give plausible answers to all the questions [that have risen from Shahbaz’s decision] during Monday’s sitting of the parliament,” he said in a press conference in Islamabad.

Twitter Reacts to Decision

Political commentators are divided as to what caused Shahbaz Sharif’s sudden decision to step down. The PAC chairmanship remained contested before the nomination of Shahbaz Sharif since the Prime Minister initially rejected any such proposal and insisted to appoint someone from the treasury benches to ensure transparency and accountability.

After months of impasse, government conceded to appoint Shahbaz as PAC chairman; the reason sudden decision of Shahbaz to step-aside and staying in London has raised many questions. Some analyst slammed the PML-N president for not coming back to Pakistan where he had been Chief Minister of the largest province for 10 years.

Adeel Raja, a prominent journalist wrote: “Rana Tanveer to be Chairman PAC; Shehbaz Sharif will not be coming back from UK! The person who ruled Punjab for decades does not want to live there if he is not the CM, this is our leadership; Point to ponder?

There are some analysts who believe that a deal has been signed between the establishment and the PML-N. Therefore, younger Sharif has been allowed to go to London and extend his stay. Hassan Zaidi, Pakistan-based journalist said, “Shehbaz Sharif steps down as Leader of Opposition and PAC Chairman, extends stay in UK. Hard to see this as anything other than either part of a deal or running away, no matter what PMLN might say.”

It is also on the cards that the narrative of Shahbaz has failed to bring anything substantial for the party, therefore, now party leaders have decided to go with Nawaz’s narrative of ‘Vote to Izzat do’. Wajih Sani, Geo News journalist said, “It seems like a soft coup within party against Shehbaz Sharif and his policies. SS’s Narrative rejected in a parliamentary party meeting. #PMLN

PMLN to end Dynastic Politics?

There are some reports suggesting the PML-N president is now seeking asylum in UK. Sources claim that SS is not willing to come back until inquires against him are not closed after a potential deal. It is also learnt that the PML-N is now to be led by the non-Sharifs which suggests the end of dynastic politics within the party.

Farrukh Saleem, prominent economist, tweeted that “rumor has it that Shehbaz Sharif visited 9 Bedford Row. Their “barristers have significant experience in assisting clients with successfully challenging INTERPOL Red Notices.” Rumor also has it that Shehbaz Sharif has been advised to apply for political asylum.”

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has formally joined the PML-N as one of the sixteen vice-presidents of the party. It will be clear in the coming days if SS maintains his position within the party or it ‘parting of the ways’.

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