ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership has decided to defer the elections for the new party chief scheduled for September 7 owing to some pressing engagement of the central party leadership and no new date for the elections has been announced.

A couple of weeks ago, acting party chief Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir had appointed Senator Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal as chairman of Election Commission to hold the elections for the slot of party president.

Following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case he also seized to hold the office of party president under the Political Parties Order 2002, and besides stepping down as prime minister and losing the seat of National Assembly he also stepped down as party president.

Sources in the party said that as the party leadership failed to finalise the name of the new party president for an interim period Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasar was made the acting president of the party to run the party affairs, particularly the party president was required to allot party ticket to Begum Kalsoom Nawaz to contest election from NA-120 vacated due to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif in the Panama leaks case by the apex court.

Sources in the party confirmed that Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif was a strong contender for the slot of the party president but initially the central party leaders could not agree on his name.

But later after marathon deliberations the name of Shehbaz Sharif was finalised for the slot of party president, so the acting president of the party was given a go ahead to announce the schedule for the elections of the party president, which was also legal obligation on the part of party leadership to have the new president in the saddle within 45 days of the seat falling vacant.

The acting president of the party Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir appointed Jaffar iqbal as head of the Election Commission to conduct election on September 7.

The members of the Election Commission included Babu Sarfraz Jatoi, Ali Afzal Jadoon, Najma Hameed and Amir Afzal Mandokhel.

But as Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, fell ill and flew out to London for surgery, the whole scheme of things have changed.

Some insiders in the party confirmed that despite settlement that Shehbaz Sharif would step into the shoes of Nawaz Sharif as party president but still there was some resistance from within the family on the decision and they had managed to get the elections deferred.

Sources in the party said that Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif would be flying to London on Tuesday (today) to inquire about the health of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, who had under gone successful throat surgery but the fact of the matter was that he would be removing the hiccups in the way of his appointment as party chief.

It is pertinent to mention here that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons were already in London, while Shehbaz Sharif’s two sons along with their families were also present in London where they would further deliberate upon the new scheme of things including the appointment of new party chief, and the strategy to deal with the corruption cases likely to be filed against the family in the next few days.


Abrar Saeed