Nawaz Sharif ‘removes’ Hamza Shehbaz as NA-120 election campaign in-charge

08:36 PM | 19 Aug, 2017
Nawaz Sharif ‘removes’ Hamza Shehbaz as NA-120 election campaign in-charge

LAHORE - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Lahore chapter president Pervaiz Malik has been directed by the party leadership to take charge of the NA-120 by-election campaign for former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz, said a party's spokesperson on Saturday.

“Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz will work alongside Pervaiz Malik, who will lead the election campaign as PML-N Lahore president,” said the spokesperson, adding that the opposition’s wish of differences within the Sharif family will never be fulfilled.

The announcement comes hours after media reports suggested PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has removed his nephew, Hamza Shehbaz, as in-charge of NA-120 election campaign.

Hamza Shehbaz and Maryam Nawaz during 2013 general elections campaign.–File photo

Nawaz had called a meeting on Thursday in Jati Umrah where he asked federal minister Pervaiz Malik to take over as in-charge of the election campaign for his wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

Malik had reportedly asked Nawaz to let Hamza run the election campaign but his request was denied by the former prime minister.

After his removal, Hamza said that he is a political worker and would continue his political activities. However, later Hamza expressed his displeasure and signaled to his close confidantes that he would leave the country during the election campaign, the Geo News reported.

Earlier this week, the returning officer approved nomination papers of Kulsoom Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Yasmin Rashid, and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Faisal Mir for the NA-120 (Lahore-III) by-election.

The NA-120 seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister in Panama Papers case.

In the 2013 General Elections, Nawaz had won the seat by a substantial margin, defeating PTI’s Yasmin Rashid - who will be contesting for the seat this time around too.