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A change of guard will be seen in the PML-N as former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif will pass on the baton to his younger brother, Mian Shehbaz Sharif next month. Nawaz Sharif was asked to step-down as the head of the PML-N following his disqualification last month.Sources said that Nawaz took Shehbaz into confidence when the two brothers met in their Model Town residence today. The final announcement is expected on September the 7th.

A victory, which looks a tough proposition, for now, will open two options for Nawaz. One that he make her keep a watch over Shahid Khaqan

Earlier, Sardar Yaqoob was made the interim president following the order of the ECP to nominate a president by the 25th of August. Failure to comply with the ECP would have resulted in the ineligibility of Ms. Kulsoom Nawaz to fight the NA-120 by-poll.

Earlier, Shehbaz Sharif was tipped to become the premier after contesting and winning the NA-120 by-poll but the younger Sharif decided against leaving his coveted position of Chief Minister. No party official has thus far confirmed or denied the news; however, the decision does not come as a surprise.

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Rifts in the party 

Though there were voices claiming that Shahbaz will take over as president, the rather abrupt decision was taken after the press conference of Ch Nisar on Sunday. In his much-awaited presser, Nisar stopped short of spilling the beans but alluded to tiffs galore. He said that he resigned over differences of opinion but it is inappropriate to delve upon them as it would hurt the party. “There is always a reason, but I cannot reveal it at this time because times are not normal right now ─ the party is in difficulty, the leadership is in difficulty,” he said. Deposed Minister Pervaiz Rashid had earlier pointed fingers at Nisar for not supporting the party during the Panama Case. Nisar’s recent pressers gave clear indications of issues within the ruling party.

Nisar is yet to speak up openly; it remains to be seen as to what he reveals and when. Though he tends to stir up a lot of debate in political circles, all believe that his fidelity to Nawaz makes him harmless.

Nawaz’s political future is on the crutches, yet he still retains a great deal of influence in the party and the government

Sources say that there are serious issues within the ruling family too; some go on to talk about the Nawaz and Shehbaz groups in the party. The assertion is thus far based on feeble grounds, however, two developments point towards such a possibility.

While Nawaz Sharif has gone all guns blazing against the state institutions in the Judiciary and indirectly the Army, Shehbaz called upon his party representatives not to attack state organs. Later, Shehbaz Sharif’s son and the now-overshadowed Hamza Shahbaz was removed from the campaign for NA-120.

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With these internal divisions shaping-up, sources assert that Shehbaz has got the bite at the cherry so that end these fissures. At a time when PML-N is bruised and battered after the Panama verdict, no more hiccups are desired; Shehbaz’s strong and domineering personality is best-suited to confront this situation.

Hamza, who drove Nawaz’s vehicle when he hit the roads to restore the judiciary, was seen more or less off the rear in the GT Road rally

Many believed that the meteoric rise of Maryam Nawaz’s influence in the party and government affairs made Hamza Shehbaz dormant, which has since then become a cause of estrangement between the progenies of the two brothers. Hamza, who drove Nawaz’s vehicle when he hit the roads to restore the judiciary, was seen more or less off the rear in the GT Road rally.

Nawaz’s political future is on the crutches, yet he still retains a great deal of influence in the party and the government. All cabinet members and the prime minister have vociferously spoken of their loyalty to their leader, Nawaz. However, few have raised eyebrows on premier Shahid Khaqan who has started asserting himself. He has quickly sidelined Nawaz’s closest aide, Ishaq Dar, which may not go down well with Nawaz somewhere along the line.

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Shehbaz Sharif was tipped to become the premier after contesting and winning the NA-120 by-poll but the younger Sharif decided against leaving his coveted position of Chief Minister

Sources suggested that Nawaz wanted to install Kulsoom Nawaz as president of the party in order to retain maximum influence in the party. Now, Nawaz is banking on Kulsoom’s victory in the Lahore by-polls. A victory, which looks a tough proposition, for now, will open two options for Nawaz. One that he can make her keep a watch over Shahid Khaqan. Two, Kulsoom can replace the prime minister. Both scenarios will suit the under-cloud Nawaz.

As it stands, Nawaz is apparently in deep trouble owing to the initiation of NAB references against him commensurate with the Panama verdict.Moreover, his position in the party is also weakening. He wants to remain relevant; for that Kulsoom’s victory is of utmost importance. This also holds true given the fact that the review petition is least likely to turn the tables in his favor.

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