Dubai: A month after Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison, his party, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), has landed in some more trouble.
A lawyer has filed a petition at the Peshawar High Court seeking orders for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to remove ‘N’ from the name of the PML-N, reports Dawn, a Pakistan-based English newspaper.
In a statement to the press, the petitioner, Khanzada Ajmal Zeb, stated that he believed that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of the Nation and the head of the Muslim League, “wanted the party to be a symbol of good governance, development and national interest”.
The first Pakistan Muslim League (PML) was founded in 1962 as a successor to Jinnah’s original Muslim League. PML-N remains to be the largest PML faction.
“Nawaz has hijacked the PML and has introduced his own group, which is against the policy of party’s original ideology and public interests,” Zeb was quoted as saying by ARY News, a Pakistani news channel.
News about the petition has been doing the rounds on social media since it broke, with many tweeps in Pakistan sharing links to news published in local newspapers. Some even voiced their opinion.
Tweep @SAF_Najum wrote: “Is it a moment of shame or pride that Nawaz Sharif, a convicted criminal, is still heading the largest party in Punjab?”
@aviator6061 added: “Just like PPP [Pakistan Peoples Party], PML-N is also history. People won’t elect anyone who wouldn’t work for people’s welfare. Both parties should learn a lesson.”
This isn’t the first time such a petition has been filed against PML-N. In June, a plea was also filed with the ECP, arguing that the name of a disqualified person cannot be used in the title of a political party.
On July 6, a Pakistani court sentenced Sharif to 10 years in prison over his family’s purchase of upscale London apartments. Sharif’s daughter, Maryam, was also sentenced to seven years in prison and her husband and PML-N lawmaker Muhammad Safdar was sentenced to one year in prison.
Sharif and Maryam returned to Pakistan on July 13 and were arrested in light of the court’s orders.