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ECP sends notice to PML-N to remove Nawaz as party head

  • According to the notice issued by Election Commission no disqualified 
  • leader could hold a party office under the Political Parties Order 2002
  • CM Shahbaz to be appointed PML-N president, says Raja Zafarul Haq;
  • Tells BBC that formal announcement in this regards is to be made soon

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued notice to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to remove Nawaz Sharif as party chief.
According to the notice, no disqualified leader could hold a party office under Political Parties Order 2002.
The ECP has served the notice a day ahead of former premier Nawaz Sharif's visit to Lahore along with cavalcade via GT Road in an apparent power show that opposition parties have branded an act to pressurise state institutions.
Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the election commission on order of the apex court on July 28 under Article 62 and Article 63.
Opposition parties had lodged petitions against the then premier over Panama Leaks demanding trial of the first family for the assets and properties they owned, alleging that the premier and his children resorted to money laundering and graft.
The top court took up the case in October and formal hearings of the petitions began in November.
After around four months, a verdict was reserved by the top court in February and was delivered on April 20 that ordered for formation of a six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the first family.
Then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the team to answer the questions and so did his children, Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Safdar.
After 60 days, the probe committee filed its report in the court and within two weeks, a verdict that was delivered on July 28 ordered the elections authority to disqualify Nawaz Sharif.
The federally ruling party maintained that it does not agree with the top court's decision but for the supremacy of the institutions and democracy, the ex-premier stepped down.
Opposition parties celebrated their victory in the case that according to PML-N was uncalled for as it had its grounds in a mere technicality and corruption was not proved on part of Nawaz Sharif.
Whereas, according to PTI among opposition parties, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for not proving himself innocent in corruption investigations.
According to the July 28 order, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is to file five references in the top court and a judge is to supervise the probe against the first family. Three of the five references that have been ordered to be pursued by NAB are against the former premier.
NAB is also to file references against son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, Capt (Retd) Safdar and his sons.
On the other hand, Nawaz is to lead a cavalcade from Islamabad to Lahore on July 9 (Wednesday) after a usual visit to his residence in Raiwind was made an apparent power show of the political organisation that its senior leaders observed was done out of workers  request.
PTI chief Imran Khan has branded the GT Road rally an act to pressurise NAB and undermine the apex court. 
Meanwhile, Chairman of PML-N's central working committee Raja Zafarul Haq reported on Tuesday as saying that Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif is to be appointed president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), 
The senior party member laid bare decision of the party leadership in an interview with British Broadcasting Agency (BBC) and asserted that formal announcement is to be made soon.
He said that majority of the party members favour CM Shahbaz to take place of PML-N's former president after he was issued notice today by the election commission to give up the seat.
He said that Shahbaz Sharif was appointed president of the political organisation earlier when ex-premier Nawaz Sharif was living in exile in Saudi Arabia.
Decision of the organisation to appoint Shahbaz as party chief has come in hours after Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) served a notice to the former premier to relinquish party president's seat as a disqualified leader could not hold a party office. - NNI

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