Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Nawaz Sharif holds meetings with heads of coalition parties in Islamabad

He said he will clarify soon why he wasn't added in the cabinet members list He said he will clarify soon why he wasn't added in the cabinet members list
Christy Curtis | 08 August, 2017, 00:31

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif "smartly deprived" his younger brother Shehbaz an opportunity to become prime minister because of "family politics" despite nominating the Punjab chief minister as his eventual successor, according to some PML-N leaders. His inclusion came as a surprise because of a Supreme Court order that he be charged with corruption.

The federal cabinet was dissolved after Nawaz Sharif stepped down following a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Panama Papers case. A federal minister told Dawn that the decision to "retain" Shahbaz Sharif had been finalised.

PML-N Lahore President Pervaiz Malik MNA who is also heading a committee for making arrangements for Nawaz Sharif's welcome, said all was set to accord former prime minister a hero's welcome to Lahore. Most notable is the inclusion of Darshan Lal, first Hindu to be part of cabinet in more than two decades.

He went on to say that Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif are citizens of Dubai.

Investigators said they therefore believe that "the build-up of assets was through irregular means and Hassan Nawaz was used as a proxy to build up family assets".

DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf informed APP that over 7,500 police personnel would be deployed on the route of Nawaz Sharif's motorcade.

Sharif has spent most of his time in Murree in hectic consultations over the formation of the new cabinet. The last foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, was appointed by the Pakistan People's Party. The opposition has criticised the PML-N's focus on large infrastructure projects as vote-focused measures that saddle Pakistan with debt, at the expense of schools and hospitals.

To shore up the voter base in Punjab, Abbasi has added five politicians from prominent families that command huge vote banks in the south of the region, seen as pivotal to the next poll.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was aware about those who were in touch with PTI but the decision of their inclusion was taken to keep the party intact. Pakistan's mix of political parties has often ensured that whoever wins Punjab, forms the central government. "There was always been a fear or a concern they would jump ship if the government seems weak", he added.

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