The family has dedicated this space for the party secretariat without any return and with the financial assistance of PML-N Overseas Chapter. It has now been renovated and transformed into an office from a house where PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Abbas Sharif were was raised under the care and patronage of their father, Mian Muhammad Sharif.
Inaugurating the secretariat on Monday, Nawaz Sharif recalled the time he had spent at this residence, from childhood to adulthood, besides reminiscing how his father was attached to it.
The new secretariat will be the permanent abode of Nawaz and Shahbaz for their political activities. The main structure has been retained, but after renovation and restoration, the building has gained more in splendour – with imposing Arfa Karim IT tower in the background, a road on two sides and an open space for parking on the third.
The building gives a cool look with sprawling lawns at the entrance and in the rear. Over a dozen rooms in the main compound have been reshaped to meet the needs of an office. It has a big hall for party meetings and a lobby for the visitors. A separate section is equipped with the communications system.
The single-storey building witnessed many ups and downs along with the Sharif family. It served as prime minister’s office at the time of Nawaz Sharif’s premiership and as CM office for Shahbaz Sharif in his previous term. Nawaz Sharif held number of important meetings with the foreign dignitaries in the same building, where a portrait of Mian Sharif in the main room is still adding to the grandeur of the overall location. But Pervez Musharraf regime was the worst period when this building faced neglect. It was reduced to a destitute centre by the former dictator president when the Sharif family had left for Jeddah.
The Model Town residence is the same where Begum Kalsoom Nawaz with the help of other members of the family launched the movement against Musharraf after he had arrested Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and others following the October, 1999 coup. The same premises witnessed the wrath of Wattoo government (when there was a PPP government in the Centre in 1993-96).
After conversion of the house into the PML-N central secretariat, almost all burden of the political activity will now be shifted from Raiwind to Model Town and hopefully the site will not only be in an easy access of the party leaders and workers but the media also for the purpose discharging their professional responsibilities.