Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

PM Shehbaz Sharif steps down as PML-N president

Islamabad, 13 May 2024, (GNP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif resigned as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), stating that it’s now time for his older brother and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “reclaim his rightful position” as the party’s leader.

PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb verified the news and posted Shehbaz’s resignation on her official platform.

In his resignation letter to the PML-N secretary general, PM Shehbaz mentioned the tumultuous events of 2017, highlighting the “unfair” disqualification of Nawaz from the Prime Minister’s Office and the party presidency. He stated that he took on the role of party president following these events.

“I am heartened by recent developments that have exonerated our leader with dignity, affirming his unblemished integrity and commitment to the service of our nation,” he added.

In light of these developments, the PM said said: “I believe the time has come for Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to resume his rightful place as the President of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and provide his invaluable leadership and vision to steer the party forward.”

“Therefore, it is with a deep sense of duty and reverence for our party’s principles that I tender my resignation as the President of Pakistan Muslim League (N),” he added.

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The PML-N’s central committee is to be convened on May 18 in Lahore at 11:30 am, as per clause 15 of the party’s constitution. Notices regarding the meeting have been sent by PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal to the central committee members.

Nawaz Sharif resigned as the country’s prime minister in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him for life due to not disclosing a receivable salary.

Subsequently, in February 2018, following his trial in the Panama Papers case, the Supreme Court also disqualified Nawaz as PML-N president. The court ruled that someone disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 cannot lead a political party. Despite this, Nawaz returned to Pakistan from London in October last year after four years of self-imposed exile.

On January 8, 2024, the Supreme Court overturned lifetime bans on contesting elections for individuals with criminal convictions, allowing Nawaz to make a fourth attempt at regaining power.

On May 7, the PML-N held a meeting chaired by Nawaz, attended by party stalwarts, to make crucial decisions about the party’s upcoming general council meeting scheduled for May 11, 2024.

According to sources, the meeting concluded to hold a re-election for the position of party president, with Nawaz being nominated as the new leader, and Khawaja Saad Rafique proposed for the role of secretary general. The resolution to appoint Nawaz as president will be formally presented during the general council meeting.

PML-N Punjab has already unanimously approved the resolution to appoint Nawaz as party president. Party sources revealed that a decision has been made to separate government and organizational roles to enhance the party’s activity and organization at the grassroots level through restructuring.