Nawaz to oversee PMLN govts in Centre, Punjab: Maryam

LAHORE/ ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) Chief Organiser and nominated chief minister for Punjab Maryam Nawaz said on Wednesday party supremo Nawaz Sharif had not quit active politics at all.

Issuing a statement on social media website X, Maryam said: “In the next five years, Nawaz Sharif will not only do vigorous politics, but also oversee the PMLN governments in the centre and Punjab.” She made it clear that not accepting the prime ministership did not mean that Nawaz Sharif had quit politics. She said there was no truth in rumours that Nawaz Sharif had left politics, adding the PMLN would continue to work under his leadership and supervision in future. People had given a clear majority in the three governments of Nawaz Sharif and he had made it clear in his statement that he would not be a part of any coalition government, she added.

Nawaz’s principled position was known to everyone, she said and concluded that Shehbaz Sharif and she were Nawaz Sharif’s soldiers and they were bound by his orders. She prayed for success of the PMLN governments in the Centre and Punjab.

Meanwhile, the Punjab bureaucracy started reporting to the chief minister-designate Maryam Nawaz. In this regard, Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman met her at Jati Umra and gave a detailed briefing on the provincial matters. He also congratulated her on being nominated for the post.

Meanwhile, nominated prime minister Shehbaz Sharif called on PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday and discussed the formation of government as well as names of future federal and Punjab cabinets.

Party sources said the Sharif brothers also discussed their allies and portfolios to be given to them. Shehbaz briefed Nawaz about the meetings held with various political allies so far.

Sources said it was decided that after the establishment of the government, initially a 25-member federal cabinet would be formed. According to sources, the PMLN had offered six portfolios to Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQMP), which included four full-fledged ministries, one minister of state and one adviser. Sources said the ministries offered to the MQM included IT, Overseas Pakistanis, Port and Shipping and Health, which could be changed in case the MQM expresses any reservations. Sources claimed that so far the MQM had not accepted the offer.

The PMLN sources claimed the party supremo and president also discussed names of 15 senior PMLN leaders for federal ministers, which included Ishaq Dar, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ahsan Iqbal, Attaullah Tarar, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Shiza Khawaja, Riazul Haq, Bilal Azhar Kyani, Sardar Owais Leghari, Raja Qamar Islam, Saif Khokhar, Ayaz Sadiq and Rana Tanveer Hussain. Sources said more names could be included or excluded from the list once the government was formed.

Similarly, the PMLN supremo also discussed the names for Punjab cabinet with Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. Initially, the Punjab cabinet might comprise 30-plus ministers, which might include Malik Ahmed Khan, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Faisal Ayub, Bilal Yasin, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Azma Bukhari, Zakia Shahnawaz, Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman and others. Sources said the PML and two or three candidates from south Punjab would also be included in the provincial cabinet.

When contacted, none of the PMLN leader was available to comment or confirm the developments.

Separately, the maiden meeting of political coordination committees of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and PMLN decided on Wednesday that matters related to formation of the government would be finalised after consultation with other likeminded political parties.

The meeting was attended by Senator Ishaq Dar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar and Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan from the PMLN while PPP was represented by Murad Ali Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Saeed Ghani, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Sardar Bahadur Khan Sehar, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Shuja (Shazi) Khan.

The meeting participants agreed that a stable democratic government was need of the hour to tackle economic and political challenges, and law and order and terrorism facing Pakistan. Only after that people would overcome the monsters of inflation, unemployment and insecurity, they added.

Both sides presented their respective proposals and after consultation, it was decided that another session would be held on Thursday (today) in which representatives of other provinces of Muslim League-N would also participate.

The two committees agreed that the process for government formation should be completed as soon as possible. The proposals prepared in consultation with the political coordination committees of both the parties would be presented to the leaders of their respective parties.

The leadership of both parties would take the final decision in the light of recommendations of committees.

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