Nawaz moves to tighten grip on party


The Express Tribune. The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Saturday announced fresh formation of its central working committee (CWC) and central executive committee (CEC) – the two top panels that have a final say in the party’s decision-making.

The initiative comes as part of Nawaz Sharif’s plans to maintain control of the party. Sharif is also reaching out to public in different parts of the country ahead of the general elections. In line with his strategy to mobilise public support, he addressed a public gathering in Quetta on Saturday.

The 109-member CWC comprises PML-N office-bearers and members from across Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Sources in the PML-N told The Express Tribune that the CWC’s reconstitution was a symbolic exercise since it contained top portfolios that were more or less similar to those in the previous CWC and had much to do with conveying a message across that ‘Mian sahib is calling the shots and he is at the helm as far as the PML-N’s affairs are concerned’, a PML-N office-bearer said, requesting anonymity.

“It is all about showing his [Sharif’s] political relevance and strength.”

The PML-N’s CEC is already part of the CWC, he said. “By default, all members of the CWC are also members of the CEC,” the source said, adding the CEC comprised 29 office-bearers and 80 members.

PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq is the also chairman of the CWC and the CEC while party President Nawaz Sharif is the president of both the bodies.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra is the secretary general while Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal is his deputy. Salahuddin Tirmazi and Abdul Qadir Baloch are assistant secretary generals.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is president of the party’s Punjab chapter and Raja Ashfaq Sarwar the general secretary.

Pervez Rashid is the party’s secretary finance and Mushahidullah Khan the secretary information.

Ameer Muqam is the president while Murtaza Javed Abbasi is the general secretary of the PML-N Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri is the president and Naseebullah Bazai the general secretary of the party’s chapter in the province.

Babu Sarfraz Jatoi is the president and Shah Muhammad Shah the general secretary of the Sindh chapter.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider is the president the PML-N AJK chapter and Shah Ghulam Qadir the general secretary.

Similarly, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman is the only member in the CWC from the region in his capacity as president of the PML-N GB while there is no general secretary.

Islamabad chapter also has no general secretary and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry is the PML-N Islamabad chapter president.

Among others, members of the CWC and CEC include PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah, Captain (retd) Safdar and others.





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