Shahbaz – A right choice

A day after the historic Supreme Court verdict which disqualified Nawaz Sharif, the parliamentary party of PML (N) met at Punjab House and selected Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab Chief Minister to succeed Nawaz Sharif as the PM yet till his election to the National Assembly, the interim period will be served by Shahid Khaqan Abbassi- another loyalist of Sharif family who until Friday was Petroleum Minister in Nawaz’s cabinet. As PML (N) holds a hefty majority in the lower house, it is a foregone conclusion that the party can independently vote their candidates into the office. As was expected, the opposition has started deriding the party for not finding a permanent PM from current lot of MNAs, yet we understand that the critical decision has been taken very wisely by the former PM keeping in view of the fissures seen in the party ranks before the apex court judgment as well as challenges facing the country.
After the ouster of Nawaz, we have no doubt in saying that Shahbaz is the one personality in the PML (N) who enjoys complete confidence and trust of senior party leaders and who has the ability to keep the party united in the face of series of challenges ahead. Over the last eight to nine years, Shahbaz undeniably has emerged as a towering figure who with his energy, determination, leadership qualities has won applause not only at home but also abroad. He is known as a doer for fast paced completion of mega development and public welfare projects. After assuming charge as the PM, he needs to take forward the Punjab legacy- something that is also vital for him to restore the image of his party in the public and shift the narrative currently built by opponents to the one of all inclusive development and progress. Being chief executive of the country, we understand he will be under lot of pressure as on the one hand his family members will be appearing before the accountability court while on the other, he will have to keep focus on challenges facing the country especially on the security front. But this is where head and heart qualities of a leader come to real test and we are very confident that he will live up to the expectations of the people and prove to be a national leader by steering the country out of all crises by his visionary approach. Whilst dealing with complex security related matters having internal and external dimensions head on, he will also have to keep in mind the promises made to the people about ending power outages before the next general elections. Focus of both Khaqan and then Shahbaz should be on timely completion of all energy related projects as well as infrastructure projects under the CPEC as these are vital for bringing overall improvement in the lives of people. This is only possible if the government keeps political temperature down, as it must not forget that people will judge and vote in the next polls on the basis of performances of all parties in their respective precincts.
There should be transparent and swift across-the-board accountability and the new PM must bring institutional changes to meet this target as corruption in any society and country not only endangers democracy but also could lead to anarchy and total breakdown of system. The future path in fact has been shown by former PM in his address to parliamentary party meeting where he stated that we have had regrettable moments in our history, but our future should be free of these regrets. We should all sit together and contemplate how could we run this country better. As election bill recently adopted by the parliamentary committee will shortly be introduced before Parliament for consideration and discussion, it will be better for political parties to take a review and introduce tough anti-graft laws to minimise corrupt practices and improve good governance in the country.

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