Shehbaz camp ‘not to give up’ reconciliatory narrative

LAHOREDespite Shehbaz Sharif’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) camp under his influence would not change its narrative of reconciliation with the powers that be.Well-placed sources in the party said many party hawks thought that Shehbaz would change his reconciliatory approach and realise that his brother and former premier Nawaz Sharif’s anti-establishment narrative was the only way forward for the party.They said the party since emergence of Panama Papers scandal in April 2016 has been internally divided into two camps respectively represented by Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif. They said the arrest of Shehbaz was taken by some as the harbinger of end of this divide.However, they said, this did not turn out to be the case. Hamza Shehbaz, Shehbaz’s son and Punjab Assembly opposition leader, kept his calm and only criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government in the wake of the arrest that took place on October 5.They said he did not talk about any controversy and/or plot against the party. He chided the PTI for accommodating corrupt people in the party and asked NAB to also divert its attention towards corruption politicians in the PTI.Talking to a former minister and a sitting party MNA earlier on Wednesday hoped that Shehbaz Sharif would change his narrative after his arrest. He said Shehbaz was the only leading voice in the party who talked about harmony and reconciliation.He said Shehbaz Sharif would realise that even his soft stance could not save him from the humiliation of arrest and from victimisation. He also expressed disappointment over Hamza’s statement.“Hamza seems to have completely failed to build a narrative of political victimisation. Overall, if the party continues to criticise the PTI for the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif by NAB, it will not be able to develop a sellable narrative,” he said.Another leader said for now the PML-N’s goal has changed and its new target for all obvious reasons is the PTI government. He said the party will get nothing out of criticising the establishment for now. “Even Nawaz Sharif and his camp will not do any unnecessary adventurism,” he added.The PML-N Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan said there is only one narrative in the party and that is the narrative of Nawaz Sharif. He said every leader is entitled to have personal views but they should not be taken as the party narrative. “Party narrative only comes from Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

 

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