Not Nawaz Sharif, but Shehbaz to be PML-N’s prime minister candidate: Asif

Islamabad: Signs of formation of a coalition government at the federal level have emerged, as indicated by senior PML-N leader Khawaja Mohammed Asif.

In an interview, Khawaja Asif has also disclosed that Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), will not be the party’s prime ministerial candidate. Instead, Shahbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif’s brother, is set to be the PML-N’s candidate for the prime ministership.

Furthermore, Asif revealed that the coalition government will collectively decide on the name of the prime minister. This implies that various political parties involved in the coalition will have a say in determining the country’s leadership. Additionally, if the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) proposes a candidate for PM’s slot, the alliance will also consider that.

The former minister expressed confidence that the coalition government will emerge within a couple of days, signalling progress towards a consensus among the participating political parties. However, he noted that the name of Ishaq Dar for the finance minister position has not yet been finalized. Like the prime ministerial candidate, the finance minister’s appointment will also be subject to the decision of the coalition alliance.

Regarding the Punjab chief minister, Asif indicated that while the name is almost finalized, he refrained from disclosing further details, suggesting ongoing deliberations within the coalition.

However, a few hours later, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that the former defence minister’s statement had been presented out of context, claiming that the name of the party’s prime ministerial candidate had not been decided yet.

“The name will be decided unanimously as a result of coalition and political consultation. No final decision has been taken in this regard yet,” she stressed.