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May 27, 2013
LAHORE: Shahbaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Punjab president, has been nominated as the province’s chief minister for a third time, following a party decision on Thursday. He has already started heading meetings at the party’s Central Secretariat in Lahore’s Model Town.
The Punjab Assembly session is due on May 29, according to unofficial reports, in which all newly elected members of the provincial assembly will take oath. On May 31, another session will be called where the assembly’s speaker, deputy speaker and leader of the house (Punjab chief minister) will be elected. The PML-N and the Punjab opposition will introduce their nominees for a house leader, after which the assembly members will proceed to elect one of them for the office.
Given the PML-N’s overwhelming majority in the Punjab assembly, it’s a sure bet that he will once again be CM. This will be the third time he has held this post, the first being from 1997 to 1999 and the second from 2008 to 2013.
As the younger brother of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz was thought to be an important driving force behind party affairs and in 2013, he was thought to have “taken over the party completely” according to some PML-N sources.
Moreover, party officials say that Nawaz Sharif was of the opinion that Shahbaz Sharif was one candidate who could unite not only the party but also newly elected MPAs from across the province.
In the recent polls, Shahbaz Sharif ran for one National Assembly (NA) seat and three provincial assembly (PA) seats while his son Hamza contested for one NA and one PA seats and won both.
Unlike Nawaz, who has kept his sons and daughters, except Maryam Nawaz Sharif, from the political arena, Shahbaz’s sons Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and Salman Shahbaz Sharif are active at both party and government levels.
According to PML-N’s official handout, chief minister-designate Shahbaz Sharif said that future of Pakistan was bright and those who were spreading pessimism would have to bite the dust.
“The nation, which has produced a Nobel laureate and IT prodigies such as Arfa Karim, can compete with any nation in the world,” Shahbaz told a group of students from various public and private universities in Lahore on Thursday.
Shahbaz said the passion and enthusiasm of youth during election meetings assured him that PML-N would secure victory in the May 11 polls. “By voting for PML-N, the youth have proved that they know the difference between good and bad,” he said. “There were days when I was not well. But the zeal of the youth persuaded me to attend the public meetings.”
Talking about his administration’s achievements, the CM-designate claimed that the Punjab government had arranged the world’s biggest youth festival, attended by three million people.
Similarly, he added, that his government had established 450 playgrounds for cricket, hockey and other sports. (Courtesy: Tribune)