Shahid Khaqan has resigned from PML-N post, confirms Mohammad Zubair

Nawaz Sharif's spokesperson says Shahid Khaqan Abbas is "a very senior leader and doesn't need any post"

Nausheen Yusuf
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (L) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice-president and chief organiser Maryam Nawaz (R). — AFP/Twitter
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (L) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice-president and chief organiser Maryam Nawaz (R). — AFP/Twitter

  • Abbasi resigned day after Maryam was appointed chief organiser.
  • Ex-PM was unhappy with Maryam Nawaz's elevation without consultation, say sources. 
  • Number of senior second-tier leaders were also upset with her appointment, say sources. 

ISLAMABAD: Hours after it was reported that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has resigned from his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) post, spokesperson for Nawaz Sharif Mohammad Zubair confirmed the development.

“He [Shahid Khan Abbasi] is a big leader and quitting the post will have no effect on him,” Zubair told the media. He also added that Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had also confirmed the resignation.

Zubair said that he doesn't want to "wash dirty laundry” in public, adding that Miftah Ismail is still with PML-N.

"He is a very senior leader and a former prime minister. The party needs his experience.”

Earlier today, Geo News had learnt, via sources, that the former prime minister had resigned from the post of PML-N senior vice president.

Sources privy to the matter said that Abbasi decided to step down after Maryam Nawaz was elevated as the party's chief organiser and senior vice president by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is also PML-N president.

'Decision without consultation'

Sources had told Geo News that the former premier was unhappy with the decision taken without consulting other party members. They had also shared that Abbasi had tendered his resignation the next day after her appointment.

Earlier this month, Maryam was promoted and tasked to reshuffle the party for the better.

She was also authorised to reorganise the party at all functional tiers/levels as "chief organiser".

The appointment makes Maryam the third most powerful figure in the party after her father, Nawaz Sharif, and her uncle Shehbaz Sharif, who is the sitting prime minister.

"Maryam Nawaz is appointed senior vice president and in this situation, there's no reason for me to work as party's SVP," sources quoted Abbasi as telling the party leadership.

When approached, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi denied giving any statement to the media regarding his resignation.

Maryam's promotion 'upsets' PML-N leaders

However, her promotion to the office of senior vice-president and chief organiser of the party did not go down well with the PML-N stalwarts, sources informed The News

According to sources, a number of senior second-tier PML-N leaders are upset with the appointment, terming lack of consultation as one of the main reasons kicking up discontent over the elevation.

A senior PML-N leader told The News, on condition of anonymity, that "this decision is undemocratic and is aimed at furthering the Sharifs’ political dynasty". He revealed that hardly any senior leader outside the Sharif family was consulted before making the decision.

Senior PML-N leaders such as Khawaja Asif, Tanvir Hussain, Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Raja Zafarul Haq, are under Maryam in the party hierarchy. Before the decision, Abbasi was the only senior vice president of the party, with over a dozen vice presidents, including Maryam.

Another party leader, who spoke to The News on the condition of anonymity, bemoaned the decision saying: “Only the Sharif family or those close to them have the first right to hold every key party or government position”.