Lahore [Pakistan]: The name of Hamza Shabaz is being considered for the post of Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province in place of his father Shahbaz Sharif.
Shahbaz, who is set to succeed his brother Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’s next prime minister in less than two months, enjoys a degree of comfort in dealing with his son.
However, the final decision on who would replace Shahbaz as Punjab chief minister lies with Nawaz Sharif, who is looking to consolidate the party’s control in the province, the Dawn reported.
“Shahbaz wants his son, who is already acting as the deputy chief minister, to succeed him for the remaining term in Punjab. However, [it is up to] Nawaz Sharif to decide whether Hamza will be the right choice for the post or not. “Whoever is nominated for the CM post will follow instructions from Shahbaz…but his level of comfort with his son will be higher than with an ‘outsider’. At the same time, Shahbaz wants to give his son the experience he needs to serve at the top level,” Dawn quoted a senior PML-N legislator from Punjab, as saying.
The PML-N leader said Shahbaz’s duties will be doubled after installing a new chief minister for the province as he would have to look after matters in Punjab as well as at the Centre.
The leader further said that Hamza will be a strong candidate for Punjab chief minister’s post in the 2018 polls if he manages to get the slot in Punjab.
The leader also pointed out that it would be a difficult decision for Nawaz to hand over Punjab to Hamza as he may not want to see his younger brother and his son ruling at the Centre and in Punjab virtually taking over the party at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, rumours of Hamza’s political spat with the former premier’s family and children have emerged as he had not openly defended his uncle (Nawaz) in the Panama Papers case by choosing not to comment too much on the issue.
Hamza, who is a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly from NA-119, Lahore, will have to contest the by-election from Raiwind, the seat his father will vacate, if gets selected for the post of Punjab CM.
However, both families have often vehemently dismissed rumours of any political disagreement or rift between them.
According to reports, the names of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Information Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman and Food Minister Bilal Yasin are also being considered for the CM post.
Nawaz had resigned from the Prime Minister’s office following his disqualification from the Supreme Court in the Panamagate verdict.
The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) following the apex court’s vedict had announced Punjab Chief Minister and Nawaz’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Additionally, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was named as interim Prime Minister candidate till the time Shahbaz is elected to the Parliament. (ANI)