LAHORE - Parliamentary Committee of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Thursday formally named Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif as their candidate for the Punjab chief minister.

It would be the third turn of Shahbaz as the Punjab chief minister while he would be 16th CM of the province.

Shahbaz Sharif’s first tenure as the chief minister lasted from March 1997 to October 12, 1999 when the PML-N governments in the centre and provinces were overthrown by military coup of General Pervez Musharraf.

Shahbaz Sharif completed the second stint as the Punjab CM on March 26, 2013 that began on June 8, 2008. 

Shahbaz Sharif’s name as Punjab CM was announced by Nawaz Sharif after the former was asked whether he wanted to serve in Punjab or in the centre.

Shahbaz Sharif left the decision to the committee and the party president who decided to retain him in Punjab.

Before the recent polls, Shahbaz Sharif had evinced the desire to become the minister for water and power in the centre.

The meeting of the parliamentary committee was attended by Senator Ishaq Dar, Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Khwaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Khwaja Saad Rafiq, Khurram Dastagir Khan, Khwaja Ahmad Hassaan, Mehar Ishtiaq Ahmad and Anwar Waheed Alam.

The committee lauded the performance of chief minister-designate Shahbaz Sharif in Punjab and his understanding about the issues and problems of this province.

The newly elected Punjab legislators will take oath on May 29 and Shahbaz Sharif will be elected as the leader of house on May 31 after the election of speaker and deputy speaker on May 30.

The party sources say that the committee also decided to retain the incumbent speaker of Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan but no decision has been made about the slot of the deputy speaker.

The committee discussed the formation of the government in Balochistan and decided to step up talks with PKMAP and independent winner who have joined the PML-N for evolving consensus on the name of the leader of the house.

The PML-N with the support of PKMAP, NP and independents is in a comfortable position to set up government in Balochistan.

However, a tug of war like situation has erupted after the party named its provincial president Sanaullah Khan Zehri as the next CM but later revised the decision and named Nawabzada Changez Khan Murri for the slot. Sana is being placated to accept the party decision.