Who will lead the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and whose narrative will prevail in the future is being discussed within the party as per the latest reports. Senior anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada revealed in his show ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath’ on Thursday that there are serious concerns that the PML-N may face a split in the future due to the differences in the political narrative between Maryam Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif’s camps.
Maryam camp believes in taking forward Nawaz Sharif’s narrative while Shehbaz Sharif camp believes in reconciliation and not taking any institution head-on as well as focus on winning the 2023 general elections. As Nawaz Sharif is not in the country, he needs to decide which narrative should be taken forward by his party officially, otherwise, the PML-N may face a split. The senior leadership of the PML-N wants Nawaz to take a categorical decision in this regard.
Khanzada said they talked to senior PML-N leaders as well as those close to Shehbaz Sharif. Khanzada added that they asked Maryam Nawaz for her point of view.
According to Shehbaz Sharif’s close aides, they want a free hand to be given to Shehbaz, target Imran Khan’s government, no confrontation with institutions and dialogue with institutions is needed in order to forge a roadmap where they stay within their constitutional limits. Shehbaz also wants Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) back in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and was unhappy with Maryam Nawaz and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s strongly worded statements against the PPP. He is against the show cause notice being served to the PPP and that the PPP should not be forced to resign from assemblies against its will.
Sources say that Shehbaz Sharif wanted to go to London in order to talk to Nawaz Sharif face-to-face about all these issues. He wants Nawaz to decide who will be the next prime minister from PML-N, who will lead the party and whose narrative should be the official party position. He wants Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to take a backseat from political activities and stay quiet. He does not want them to give anti-establishment statements anymore. The focus should only be on the 2023 general elections. If Nawaz agrees to give full control to Shehbaz, then he will take all Opposition parties on board. He will then also hold a dialogue with the establishment. If Nawaz does not agree, Shehbaz will quit politics. He will not take part in any political activities after that.
PML-N leaders believe that while Maryam Nawaz is indeed a crowd puller, it is better to let Shehbaz resolve all issues before the elections. Maryam Nawaz does not agree to these conditions.
After he was released from jail on bail, Shehbaz Sharif made it clear that all party meetings or jalsas will only take place with his permission. Maryam Nawaz did take a backseat since his release. Hamza and Shehbaz understand election campaigns and electoral politics while Maryam Nawaz does not, as per sources close to Shehbaz Sharif.
When contacted by Khanzada’s team, Maryam Nawaz said there are no two camps within the party; only a difference of opinion exists. She said that it is not my narrative, it is Nawaz Sharif’s narrative. If they make her go quiet, Nawaz’s narrative will still go on. Maryam said it is wrong to say that the majority in the party believes in reconciliation. Things have improved not because of a soft stance but because of Nawaz Sharif’s narrative. PML-N won by-elections because of Nawaz.
If reconciliation was an answer, then Hamza and Shehbaz Sharif would not have gone to jail in the first place. Shehbaz Sharif has his own views and this has been his view for decades but he will never go against his brother. When asked about the differences between Shehbaz and Maryam, she said she has no differences with Shehbaz. She said she does what Nawaz tells her to do. She is not in favour of any confrontation with institutions nor any deal.