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ISLAMABAD: A clear divide has become apparent between top cadres of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as Maryam Nawaz and her uncle Shehbaz Sharif preferred to hold separate meetings with the US diplomat, bringing the evident fissures into public domain once again.

The United States charge d'affaires Angela Aggeler visited PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz followed by her interaction with party president Shehbaz Sharif at a scheduled luncheon meeting on Thursday.

The meetings by the US diplomat, according to diplomatic sources, was part of the American Embassy's routine consultations with country's political parties to take input from them about the prevailing political situation in the wake of continued delay in notification of appointment of new Director General, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

"This is a routine process in which foreign diplomats hold meetings with politicians, the same way Pakistani diplomats meet with US congressmen," a diplomatic source said.

However, separate meetings with the PML-N leadership - Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz - has once again put the spotlight on the differences within the party, allegedly dividing the PML-N between two camps, one led by Shehbaz and another by Maryam.

In a statement, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, refuted these speculations, terming these as "baseless" and "fake" following the two meetings. She requested the media to refrain from speculating on "indoor" meetings of the party.

The two separate press statements and the photographs/visuals released to the media by the party spokesperson revealed that Maryam was accompanied by party leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Pervez Rasheed, Khurram Dastgir, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Tariq Fatimi and Bilal Kiyani while there was no mention or visual of any other leader during Shehbaz's meeting with the US diplomat.

Talking to Business Recorder on condition of anonymity, a PML-N lawmaker said that it was not the first time that cracks within the party ranks are being discussed in the public domain.

"No doubt, difference of opinion exists in every political party but these should be discussed and resolved in close-door meetings instead of in public," he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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