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Thursday, February 15, 2024

There should be a new Opposition Leader, suggests Fawad Chaudhry

The Opposition leader plays an important role in political process of Pakistan. Shehbaz Sharif is in London for last several months. PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry has raised some serious questions. Is it the time to have a new leader of opposition in the National Assembly?

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has urged the speaker of the National Assembly to inquire about the exact date of Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif’s return to the country or move for the appointment of a new opposition leader “to ensure the smooth running of legislative functions of the house”. Mr. Chaudhry has been vocal to oppose the Sharif family’s decision of leaving the country under the pretext of health.

In his letter to Speaker Asad Qaiser, Chaudhry said it was a matter of great concern and that the opposition leader had been conspicuous by his absence for a long time.  “In addition, he has withdrawn from the position of chairman, Public Accounts Committee, which is an important component of the National Assembly,” he noted.


The federal minister further said that despite his non-appearance and his obvious disinterest in the affairs of the House, Shehbaz was enjoying all the privileges entitled to the office of the opposition leader, which was a clear violation of the Rules of Business of the National Assembly and a contravention of democratic norms.

Read More: Will Shehbaz Sharif return to Pakistan?

“In view of the above circumstances, Shehbaz Sharif may either be inquired about the confirmed dates of his return to Pakistan or a move for the appointment of a new opposition leader may be expedited forthwith, so that the business of the House may be carried out smoothly, and the legislative functions of the House be performed without any hindrance,” Chaudhry added.

It is worth noting that this publication recently reported that the PML-N is not returning to Pakistan any time soon. Credible sources told GVS that the PML-N’s President is considering various options before making any final decision. “Shehbaz Sharif always wanted to come back to Pakistan but he never trusted Nawaz and Maryam,” a source, GVS spoke with, said.

Earlier, media reports claimed that Shehbaz Sharif held a two-hour-long consultative meeting with elder brother and former premier, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. It was revealed, read reports, that Shehbaz Sharif will board a flight tentatively within the next two days for his return to home soil.

Shehbaz Sharif has been in London with his elder brother Nawaz Sharif who is undergoing medical treatment after he was released on bail by Lahore High Court and allowed to fly abroad on the basis of critical health conditions.

Read More: You are setting a dangerous precedent, Imran Khan: Shehbaz Sharif warns

In a statement, the PML-N’s President has said it was very unfortunate that Maryam was not being granted permission to take care of her father. Maryam should be permitted to be with her father on humanitarian grounds, the PML-N president said.

“As Nawaz’s health is concerned, the margin for medical action is reducing as more time passes,” Shehbaz said, adding that cardiologists had to twice change the earlier decided date for his brother’s cardiac catheterization as Maryam was not with him.

There is a widely held perception in Pakistan that Nawaz Sharif left for London after signing a deal with the establishment. Therefore, no tweet or statement has been issued by Nawaz or his daughter against the same, sources claim.

Read More: Has Shehbaz Sharif filed a case in London’s court against Daily Mail?

Those who suspect a deal point towards the past. If the history of Pakistan is any witness to help then it may be true. No politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law; convictions even if obtained in lower courts are almost always overturned by superior courts. The system simply does not have the will to punish powerful people- they argue. In the instant case, powerful sections of media, doctors and other actors active behind the scenes made a case to pressurize Prime Minister Imran Khan to let Nawaz go to London under a medical emergency.

Some sources claim that once again an overall political context is being created to force the government to let Maryam Nawaz leave for London. However, this time it looks difficult for Prime Minister Imran Khan to allow Maryam to leave the country since some of his key cabinet members are against any such move.