Rana Sanaullah expects Shahbaz return in March


LAHORE: For the first time a senior PML-N leader has declared that there is a reason behind the extended stay of its president Shahbaz Sharif in London and he will return at an appropriate time, probably in March.

“Ailing Nawaz Sharif is under treatment in London and Shahbaz Sharif is in good health but working on curing the PTI government,” PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah said after chairing a meeting of the party’s lawmakers from Gujranwala here on Monday.

Talking to Dawn, Mr. Sanaullah said Shahbaz Sharif would return to the country at an appropriate time probably in March as this was an election year. When asked whether the PML-N had been in contact with the establishment in this regard, the PML-N leader who recently secured bail in the drugs case from the Lahore High Court said: “The way Imran Khan is running the government time is not far away to rid of it for the sake of the country.”

Rana Sanaullah also disclosed that Shahbaz Sharif was in favor of improving relations with an institution as Imran Khan and his party was painting the PML-N as anti (military establishment). “Shahbaz Sharif’s view prevailed in the party along with the slogan of giving respect to the vote,” he said.

Mr. Sanaullah was of the view that the “arrogant” style of Imran Khan had not only annoyed the government’s allies, especially the PML-Q, but also his own party lawmakers. “On Sunday instead of placating the members of the forward bloc from south Punjab and others he chose to snub them. As a result, there has been a lot of resentment among them. And who knows they may rise against the PTI leadership in the coming days,” he said and did not rule out the PML-N’s contacts with the disgruntled group and the PML-Q. “In this situation, everyone is in contact,” he added.

The PML-N leader insisted that Usman Buzdar was still not an “empowered” chief executive of Punjab as Imran Khan was running the affairs of both Punjab and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa from Islamabad.

According to a PML-N insider, Mr. Khan’s Lahore visit turned out to be counter-productive, helping the party (PML-N) to have the PTI government in Punjab sent packing even before its plan. “Imran Khan’s arrogance not to see the PML-Q leadership and not consult it on any issue has annoyed the Chaudhrys of Gujrat. PM Khan even did not bother to inquire after the health of PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who recently had treatment in Germany. This arrogance of the premier is making things easier for us,” he said.

Both Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif camps in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are “equally satisfied” over the party’s unconditional support to the Pakistan Army (Amend­ment) Act, believing the ‘smart move’ will bring ‘good news’ (to the party) in the days to come.

Ice between the PML-N and the establishment broke following the latter’s unconditional support to the Pakistan Army (Amend­ment) Act, believing this move may end a hard time for it.


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