News Desk |
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz became a vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in a major reshuffle of the party on Friday. For the first time, Nawaz’s daughter and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shehbaz have been appointed as vice presidents of the party, among several others.
Among other changes, former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been appointed senior vice president of the PML-N, ex interior minister Ahsan Iqbal has been made general secretary, ex finance minister Ishaq Dar has been tasked to take over responsibilities as president of the party’s International Affairs Committee while Marriyum Aurangzeb has retained the position of secretary information and the party’s spokesperson.
The reorganization has come after the party surrendered two important parliamentary positions due to party president Shehbaz’s expected long stay in London for getting medical treatment and the Supreme Court’s decision to turn down Nawaz’s review petition seeking court’s permission to go to UK for medical treatment. Dar, who is facing graft cases in Pakistan is already living in self-exile in London.
A statement from the party said that the president made the announcement after consultation with PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif over the decisions.
In the party reshuffle, Shehbaz, Abbasi and Dar will also be members of the PML-N Economic Advisory Council. Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Asif, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Muhammad Zubair, Miftah Ismail, Ayesha Ghaus-Pasha, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Musadik Malik, Ali Pervez Malik and Bilal Azhar Kiyani have also been made members of the EAC.
Noor Ul Hassan Tanvir has been made general secretary international affairs. Pervez Malik has been chosen as the secretary finance and Tariq Fatemi as secretary policy and research. Several key positions have also been allocated to people regarded close to former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Apart from Maryam and Hamza, the 14 other vice presidents of the party include Abid Sher Ali, Ayaz Sadiq, Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, Dr Darshan Lal Punchi, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Khurram Dastgir, Mian Javed Latif, Muhammad Zubair, Mushahid Ullah Khan, Nelson Azeem, Pervaiz Rasheed, Raheela Durrani, Rana Tanveer Hussain, and Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan.
Baleeghur Rahman and Attaullah Tarar are deputy secretary generals while Bilal Azhar Kiyani, Farhan Zafar Jhagra and Sorath Thebo are appointed as assistant secretary generals. The joint secretaries are Abbas Afridi and Talal Chaudhry.
Punjab’s ex law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan is appointed as the PML-N Punjab president, Hanif Abbasi as senior vice president and Sardar Awais Leghari as general secretary. Raja Ateeq Sarwar, Hafiz Nauman, Khawaja Salman Rafi and Raja Qamarul Islam have been named as the vice presidents.
Azma Bukhari is appointed as Punjab secretary information.
In Sindh, the former finance minister Miftah Ismail has been appointed as PML-N general secretary and Ali Akbar Gujjar as senior vice president. Salman Ali Khan and Nasiruddin Mehmood have been made PML-N’s Karachi president and general secretary, respectively.
NAB References against Sharif Family
In July 2018, Nawaz was sentenced to 10 year in jail on charges of owning assets beyond known sources of income, his daughter Maryam was given seven years for abetting while his son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar was awarded two-year jail time by an accountability court.
However, the Islamabad High Court had granted them bail in September 2018. His two sons — Hassan and Hussain — were also co-accused in all three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but they were declared absconders for failing to appear before the court. Sharif has denied all the charges against him.
Following Nawaz’s disqualification in Panama Papers case in 2017, the Supreme Court had directed NAB to file three references against the Sharif family regarding Avenfield Apartments in London, Al Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment.
In the second NAB reference, Nawaz was jailed for seven years when the accountability court ruled that he was unable to show where he obtained the money he used to buy the Al-Azizia steel mill in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Sharif has challenged both convictions and the appeals process in both cases is ongoing.