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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Nawaz Sharif vs. Shehbaz Sharif: Is PML-N splitting up?

Shehbaz Sharif has allegedly refused to help Nawaz Sharif obtain bail in the corruption charges leveled against him.

It seems that a storm may be brewing among the top PML-N leadership. Reports are emerging that all may not be well between the Sharif brothers.

According to the details by a political expert, Mir Mohammad Ali Khan who quoted a PML-N insider, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has apparently stopped taking orders from his elder brother, PML-N supreme leader, and former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Moreover, Shehbaz Sharif has allegedly refused to help Nawaz Sharif obtain bail in the corruption charges leveled against him. This is rather interesting because, without bail, Nawaz Sharif will be facing jail time.

Read more: “Corruption case against me and my family is a fraud”, says disqualified Nawaz Sharif

To clarify, in July 2018, an Islamabad accountability court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in Adiala jail in the Avenfield apartments reference. In September of the same year, the Islamabad High Court suspended that sentence, but Nawaz Sharif was arrested again in December after being found guilty in the Al-Azizia reference and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

He was later released for eight weeks on bail on medical grounds, following which he proceeded to London for treatment. Nawaz Sharif has not returned to Pakistan to complete his sentences in both cases.

PML-N leaders have been consistently claiming his return all year and kept giving vague timelines. Recently, PML-N leader Javed Latif claimed that Nawaz Sharif will return in September, however, half of the month has passed, and still no notion of his return.

PML-N splitting up?

It remains unclear what is delaying his return, but it is believed by political experts that Nawaz Sharif will not return unless he secures some sort of guarantee that he will not be jailed. Interestingly, the former premier does not have a lot of options!

Pertinent to mention that the president has broad powers to provide relief to any convict under Article 45 of the Constitution. However, with PTI-backed Dr. Arif Alvi as the president, this option seems unlikely.

Moreover, the Punjab government can act independently and has broad powers to suspend or remit Nawaz Sharif’s sentence in both Al-Aziza and Avenfield references under Section 401, as Adiala jail falls in Punjab’s territory, but PTI and PML-Q are governing Punjab.

That leaves Nawaz Sharif with Shehbaz Sharif, however, reports are emerging that Shehbaz Sharif has allegedly refused to help his older brother. Shehbaz Sharif has also allegedly refused to let Ishaq Dar return.

Pertinent to mention that earlier reports also emerged that Nawaz Sharif is absolutely unhappy with the economic policies of the incumbent government. Perhaps the differences have created a distance among the brothers. On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif has rejected the reports. Nevertheless, there are still speculations and reports that PML-N may be dividing into two camps.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif rejects claims of being disappointed with PM Shehbaz’s performance