Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has stepped down as party Senior Vice President as the rift within the ruling party deepens amid recent changes.
Reports in local media claimed that Shehbaz Sharif has not accepted Abbasi’s resignation as the premier is expected to meet the disgruntled leader today.
It was reported Khaqan Abbasi, who served as the country’s 21st prime minister, has reservations with the recent party decisions including Maryam Nawaz’s appointment.
Abbasi was also irked over Suleman Shehbaz’s remarks about former finance chief Miftah Ismail.
Amid the reports, the estranged PML-N leader remained tight-lipped over his reservations and has not shared any update on any of his social media handles.
The senior PML-N leader lately lamented the existing political system, calling it ineffective to solve the long-lasting problems
Verifying the reports, PML-N leader Zubair Umar told reporters that "Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is a senior leader and worker of the PML-N. I believe that by quitting his post as senior VP will not impact his stature at all".
"He is a very big leader, he has been the prime minister and the party needs him very much."
Shying away from "bringing up intra-party politics in public", Zubair said that Miftah Ismail was a member of the party and that his replacement, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, has "a greater status".
With the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) having given a deadline to the PML-N to conduct intra-party elections till March 14, local media has reported tensions are brewing within the party.
The disagreements seem to be particularly stark around Maryam's promotion, the finance minister's seat and economic policies.
In her first speech after her return, Maryam Nawaz had assured the nation that she and her father – party supremo Nawaz Sharif – were fully cognizant of the inflationary storm while laying the blame for the crises at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s door.