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A high-level meeting of the PML-N was held in Murree yesterday. The newly-elected prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi and other PML-N stalwarts to include CM Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, Ahsan Iqbal, Ch Nisar and others. The meeting was chaired by Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court last Friday for failing to meet the criteria of Article 62 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Today PTI’s Babar Awan said that a disqualified person cannot head a party and hence the Election Commission should change the registration of the party. He also said that sessions under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif are also illegal.

The ex-premier directed the core committee to induct more cabinet members from South Punjab. The by-election of NA-120 was also discussed and reportedly Shehbaz Sharif may not be in the race. Sources are suggesting that Shehbaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbassi will be in charge of their respective positions until the general elections in 2018.

The political activities of Nawaz Sharif after his disqualification have been criticized by many including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.“How can Nawaz Sharif chair party meetings after he was disqualified even from his party office under the Supreme Court verdict?” asked PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq on Wednesday.

Today, PTI’s Babar Awan said that a disqualified person cannot head a party and hence the Election Commission should change the registration of the party. He also said that sessions under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif are also illegal.

Read more: Indian propaganda trying to save Nawaz’s skin

NS is our PM

Soon after his disqualification, Nawaz Sharif was seen taking part in political activities. He presided over the meeting of the Parliamentary Party; announced the new premier and took serious exceptions to the decision of the court. All this was done at the Punjab House with the state television giving it full coverage. While it was hardly noticed in media, PTI’s Babar Awan took to Twitter to point out what he deemed was an illegal act. He tweeted:”Election commission should take notice of disqualified head of N group. Under what authority of law, he is chairing meetings?”

Read more: The dusk of Nawaz Sharif era

Former cabinet members in Saad Rafique, Abid Sher Ali and others have not only openly talked about the fact that Nawaz Sharif is their PM but have also castigated the court. In his inaugural address to the Parliament after being elected as the prime minister, Khaqan Abbasi said that Nawaz Sharif is the actual PM and he expects him to be back soon. The parliamentarians brought photos of Nawaz Sharif inside the Assembly and raised slogans in favor of the ex-premier. Earlier, Saad Rafique expressed his confidence that Nawaz Sharif will now do politics and galvanize support through a massive campaign.

Contempt of court 

While the PML-N says that it accepts the decision, it has through words and actions flouted the orders of the court. The daily tirade against the Supreme Court by MNAs of the PML-N is a case in point. According to Article 204 of the Constitution, the court can punish any person who abuses, interferes with or obstructs the process of the Court in any way or disobeys any order of the Court; scandalizes the Court or otherwise does anything which tends to bring the Court or a Judge of the Court into hatred, ridicule or contempt.

Read more: My way, nor no way

The PML-N leadership used Khan’s interview to give their conspiracy allegations more weight. Khan and later the Supreme Court clarified that it was a suggestion given to all petitioners by the court in November last year.

Apart from the conspicuous defiance of the court order, the PML-N leadership was seen as sharing a story which alleged Imran Khan of taking dictation from Justice Asif Khosa in instituting a reference against the ruling family. The Supreme Court cleared the air, but the story was well-circulated by big wigs in the PML-N.

The PML-N leadership used Khan’s interview to give their conspiracy allegations more weight. Khan and later the Supreme Court clarified that it was a suggestion given to all petitioners by the court in November last year.

Read more: The Sadiqs and Ameens

The political activities of the former prime minister may see the executive and the judiciary at loggerheads in the days to come. Nawaz’s future in PML-N will be contested as seemingly his further participation is repugnant to the Political Parties Order 2002.

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