London (October 30, 2017): The top leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has gathered in London for a crucial meeting of the party to take some important deicsion about the party and the government.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif both flew to London on Sunday to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who also flew back from Saudi Arabia along with his son, Hussain, the same day.
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The party meeting is scheduled to be held today. Dismissing speculation about early elections, Nawaz Sharif said: “Rumours are always around but don’t believe them.” Shahbaz Sharif, who was accompanied by his son Salman, said upon arrival in London: “Elections will be held on time and there are no differences in the party or family.”Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif is expected to head to the UK from Saudi Arabia, and other cabinet ministers will also join the huddle.
The top-level consultations come as legal pressure on Nawaz Sharif and his immediate family builds in the wake of the Panama Papers judgement; his daughter and son-in-law have already been indicted in a corruption case.The meeting follows a New York Times interview discussing Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s political ambitions, where she was quoted as saying that both her grandfather and her father had noticed her administrative abilities and that the family had decided that she should take the reins of the party.Although she later tweeted that the statement was wrongly ascribed to her, the interview and its retraction have increased speculation of a rift between Mr Nawaz and Mr Shahbaz.