Media speculations reveal that the PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif does not appear eager to meet with his imprisoned brother and party supremo, Nawaz Sharif. This has triggered the speculations that Shahbaz is slighted over Nawaz Sharif’s rejection of his stance on the ‘Azadi March’ to be led by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam on October 31.
These speculations grew stronger when Shahbaz Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly skipped an important meeting with the incarcerated former Prime Minister in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail on October 10.
ن ليگ کے اجلاس میں رہنماؤں سے گفتگو میں اپوزیشن لیڈر شہباز شریف کا کہنا تھا کہا کہ گزارشات کرکے تھک گيا ليکن نوازشريف نہيں سنتے
— SAMAA TV (@SAMAATV) October 10, 2019
#shahbazsharif @CMShehbaz @president_pmln @SulemanSharif82 @zi_suleman @HamzaShahbaz_ @TararAttaullah @shaistapervaiz @PervaizMalikPML
گنج بخش فیض عالم مظہرنورخدا۔۔۔
ناقصاں راں پیرکامل کاملاں راراہنما۔۔۔
الشیخ علی بن عثمان الجویری حضرت داتاگنج بخش رحمة اللہ علیہ #عرس #مبارک ۔۔۔ pic.twitter.com/VBt5gPiXRx
— Usman A. Sheikh (@usmansh18858038) October 18, 2019
Shahbaz had excused himself from the meeting on grounds of his backache, and later, he did not urge the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to allow him a meeting with Nawaz Sharif at the NAB’s headquarters at Thokar Niaz Baig on Thursday.
The former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif remains in the NAB Lahore’s custody since Friday in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference.
Sources from within the PML-N, circulating on media, reveal that ever since Nawaz Sharif has completely dismissed the suggestions made by Shahbaz Sharif with regards to Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Azadi March, Shahbaz appears to be recording his anger by delaying his meeting with the PML-N supremo.
It is interesting to note that despite his complaints of backache, Shahbaz Sharif managed to meet with his son, Hamza Shahbaz, at the Kot Lakhpat jail a few days ago. Hamza has been placed under judicial remand in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case, and the references of assets beyond means.
Shahbaz has also been seen presiding over multiple party meetings and engagements. The PML-N president was also seen at the Shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh (RA), where he had joined the other devotees in the Urs processions, which have begun today.
On Wednesday, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly failed to arrive at a court hearing in the Ashiyana Housing and Ramzan Sugar Mill cases, citing his “severe spinal pain” as the reason behind his absence.
— Adnan Hussain (@AdnanhussainAD) October 10, 2019
Analysts speculate that Shahbaz Sharif is not in the favor of joining hands with the JUI-F and being a party to the ‘Azadi March’, as it is being regarded as a move against the might establishment, which is speculated to be supportive of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.
However, Nawaz Sharif has dismissed all the concerns put forward by his brother and other senior party leaders, and Shahbaz has been instructed to initiate preparations for PML-N leaders and workers to join Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s protest, whether it is a sit-in protest or a rally.
When you have nothing to lose, you play brave and on front foot. Nawaz Sharif shows his complete support to Maulana’s Azadi March. He has even instructed Shahbaz Sharif. Let’s see that how much his party obeys their leader’s command.
The game is ON…
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) October 11, 2019
Responding to Shahbaz Sharif’s reasons for delaying his meeting with Nawaz Sharif, PML-N General Secretary, Ahsan Iqbal, said, “On Wednesday, Shahbaz Sharif wrote to the NAB to obtain permission for meeting Nawaz Sharif.”
Ahsan Iqbal said that in the Kot Lakhpat Jail, Thursday was the designated day for meetings, however, “special permission” is required to visit a prisoner in NAB custody. Iqbal dismissed all speculations of a rift between the Sharif brothers. He said, “Both Nawaz and Shahbaz are on the same page with regards to the JUI-F’s Azadi March. Shahbaz Sharif’s opinions were quite similar to those of Nawaz Sharif’s.”
Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Shahbaz Sharif are due to hold a meeting today (Friday) in Lahore to discuss their strategy for the Azadi March. They are scheduled to hold a press conference after their meeting.