Nawaz Sharif Stirs Controversy by Leading Punjab Government Meetings
Nawaz Sharif Stirs Controversy by Leading Punjab Government Meetings

LAHORE: In a surprising turn of events, Nawaz Sharif, the prominent figure of the PML-N party, has taken on a significant role in the Punjab provincial government, overshadowing his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who officially holds the position of chief minister. Sharif, 74, chaired three crucial administrative meetings, prompting widespread attention and scrutiny.

Maryam Nawaz made history by becoming Punjab's first female chief minister just a month ago. However, her father, despite holding no official title, assumed a de facto chief ministerial role. He directed officials and ministers on various provincial projects, including infrastructure initiatives like the underground train and metro bus systems, addressing farmers' concerns, providing electric bikes for students, and planning the Ramzan relief package.

The spectacle of Sharif leading these meetings has sparked inquiries, as he holds no official position within the provincial or federal government, serving solely as a Member of the National Assembly. His participation in such discussions is unprecedented and has raised questions about the extent of his influence.

Sharif's political journey has been marked by twists and turns. Following the controversial February 8 elections, in which allegations of rigging were rampant, Sharif secured a seat in the National Assembly representing Lahore. However, his hopes of assuming the role of prime minister for the fourth time were dashed, as his party failed to secure a majority. Instead, his brother Shehbaz Sharif emerged as a favored candidate to lead a coalition government.

Critics, particularly from Imran Khan's PTI party, have accused the Sharif-led governments of usurping power through alleged election manipulation. Despite these challenges, Sharif's influence remains substantial, evident in his recent involvement in Punjab's governance.

When questioned about the inclusion of his image on Ramzan relief packages, Maryam defended it by stating, "Because it is Nawaz's government." She emphasized her father's experience, citing his previous tenures as Punjab chief minister, and acknowledged his guidance in her political journey.

The unfolding dynamics within Punjab's government underscore the complexities of power and influence in Pakistani politics, with Sharif's shadow looming large despite his official absence from executive roles.

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