PM Shehbaz Sharif resigns as PML-N president

"I believe the time has come for Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to resume his rightful place," says PM Shehbaz

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses United Nations meeting. — Reuters/File
  • Central committee meeting called on May 18. 
  • Ahsan Iqbal sends notices to central committee. 
  • Nawaz expected to become PML-N president. 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday stepped down as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president, saying the time has come for his elder brother and former premier Nawaz Sharif "to resume his rightful place" as the party chief. 

PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed the development and shared the resignation of Shehbaz on her official X handle.

In the resignation letter addressed to the PML-N secretary general, PM Shehbaz said cited the tumultuous events of 2017, which resulted in the "unjust" disqualification of Nawaz  from PM Office and the presidency of the party, the premier said he was entrusted with the responsibility of assuming the presidency of the party.

"I am heartened by recent developments that have exonerated our leader with dignity, affirming his unblemished integrity and commitment to the service of our nation," he added.

In light of these developments, the PM said said: "I believe the time has come for Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to resume his rightful place as the President of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and provide his invaluable leadership and vision to steer the party forward."

"Therefore, it is with a deep sense of duty and reverence for our party's principles that I tender my resignation as the President of Pakistan Muslim League (N)," he added.  

Meanwhile, the meeting of PML-N's central committee has been called on May 18 in Lahore at 11:30am.

The meeting has been called under clause 15 of the party constitution. PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal sent notices to the central committee of the party regarding the meeting.

Nawaz had stepped down as the country's prime minister in 2017 after he was disqualified for life from holding public office by the Supreme Court for not declaring a receivable salary.

Following his trial in the Panama Papers case, the Supreme Court, in February 2018, disqualified Nawaz as PML-N president.

In its verdict, the top court had said that a person disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 cannot serve as the head of a political party. The veteran politician, however, arrived back home from London after four years of self-imposed exile in October last year.

On January 8, 2024, the top court scrapped lifetime bans on contesting elections for people with criminal convictions, paving the way for Nawaz to take a fourth shot at power.

The PML-N, on May 7, held a meeting — chaired by the supremo — with its stalwarts in attendance to take important decisions about the party’s upcoming general council meeting scheduled to be held in May 11, 2024.

As per sources, the meeting decided on re-election for the post of party president with Nawaz being named as its new head, while Khawaja Saad Rafique to be elected as its secretary general. The resolution to make Nawaz the president will be presented in the general council meeting.

PML-N Punjab has already unanimously passed the resolution to make Nawaz the party president. Party sources said it has been decided to separate government and organisational positions to make the party active and organised at the public level by reorganising.