PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair quits party

Says he will take decision about his future in consultation with ‘friends’

Karachi   -   Former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair on Sunday announced to quit the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over some “reservations”.

Speaking to a private TV channel, Zubair, who did not disclose what issues exactly led to his departure, said he would take decision about his future politics in consultation with his “friends”.

Zubair joins a list of top leaders who recently parted ways with the ruling party, including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail.

The politician has been critical of the incumbent government, which was formed after the February 8 elections, and also recently said he was in the party “like Abbasi”, hinting at his displeasure with the leadership. When former Rawalpindi Division Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha made allegations that the election results were manipulated, Zubair had said that the PML-N should “publicly accept defeat” and allow the country to move on. However, Chattha backtracked on his claims.

While it is unclear whether he will join a political party or not, Abbasi had on April 8 approached the Election Commission of Pakistan for registration of a new political party.

Ismail is also supporting the formation of a new party of individuals having “proven integrity and competence”.

Zubair said he stood by Nawaz’s stance of resistance, while Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s job was to back a reconciliatory stance.

Announcing to continue national politics, he said he has not yet decided which party he would join.

“It’s clear that I will (continue to) do politics, but I haven’t decided from what platform or party I will do politics,” he said.

On why he quit the PML-N, he said he had no disagreements with Nawaz. “Obviously, he made me his spokesman, gave me space and prominent posts in politics,” he said. Zubair said he agreed to the PML-N’s politics which banked on the masses.

However, after the no-trust vote against former prime minister Imran Khan, “we saw that the party had quit the principled politics”, he said.

He said after the PML-N’s coming into power following Imran’s removal as the prime minister, those 16 months were “so bad that when the time of elections came in 2024, no party leader even once mentioned what they delivered in their rule of 16 months”.

On the party’s differing narratives, he said when the PTI was in power, the PML-N had two narratives — one was a resisting and the other one a reconciliatory narrative.

Nawaz and his daughter Maryam carried the resisting narrative which stated “respect the ballot”, while Shehbaz carried the reconciliatory narrative that encompassed “coming into power by hook or by crook”.

“I stood by the resisting narrative, but since we had to defend the party so we would say that there was no difference in both the stances. Definitely, there was a huge difference,” he said.

Zubair, who was a prominent leader of the PML-N, was sworn in as the Sindh governor on February 2, 2017. He served in the post for more than one year till August 2018.

He is an IBA graduate and proved his mettle in the professional sector, where he spent 26 years with IBM from 1981 to 2007, working in various capacities in Rome, Milan, Paris and Dubai.

In 1998, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for IBM Pakistan and was later elevated to CFO of IBM Middle East/Africa region in 2004.

After joining PML-N, he was part of the party’s Tax Reforms Media Committee between 2012-2013, and in July 2013, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Investment, where he served until December of that year.

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