Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif is losing his grip over his own party, as serious differences have developed between him and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab chief minister, in recent weeks.

Sources close to the PML-N leadership said yesterday that Nawaz was increasingly unhappy with his brother for clinging to, what he believes, provincial-level politics.

Shahbaz is trying to woo his Punjab Assembly MPs with promises of a five-year term in office, against the wishes of Nawaz, who believes that mid-term elections are the need of the hour, the sources said.

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Category: Newswatch, Politics
Nawaz Sharif losing grip over party affairs

Posted on 17 July 2010.

SLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif is losing his grip over his own party, as serious differences have developed between him and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab chief minister, in recent weeks.

Sources close to the PML-N leadership said yesterday that Nawaz was increasingly unhappy with his brother for clinging to, what he believes, provincial-level politics.

Shahbaz is trying to woo his Punjab Assembly MPs with promises of a five-year term in office, against the wishes of Nawaz, who believes that mid-term elections are the need of the hour, the sources said.

The sources added that the recent ‘Mastikhel-saga’ (party MP Sana Mastikhel piloting a controversial resolution against the media) has deepened the already simmering differences between the Sharif brothers and their respective supporters.

“The chief (Nawaz) is very well aware of the fact that being the top party leader does not guarantee the power to call the shots, which is why, he desperately wants to make a comeback to the national political stage. However, a few influential confidants of Shahbaz have become a major stumbling block in his way,” said a source.

According to the source, Shahbaz has argued privately that the PML-N should stick to the current political arrangement and keep its Punjab rule intact, instead of going for any adventures in the name of national politics.

“The situation has become very precarious as the PML-N vote bank has shrunk over the last one year, especially in southern Punjab. Mid-term elections will only add to the miseries of the PML-N,” said the source. Even Akbar Nawani, who vacated his seat from electoral constituency PP-48 Bhakkar II for Shahbaz, has become highly critical of the Punjab government’s policies towards southern districts of the province.During the general elections 2008, Shahbaz could secure only one vote against Nawani who contested the election as an independent candidate from two constituencies and defeated the PML-N. However, he vacated the PP-48 for Shahbaz after striking a deal with the PML-N. (Internews)