Nawaz wants to attract southern Punjab voters, zooms in on Balochistan too
Seat adjustment announcement with BAP, just days after winning over MQM
LAHORE (Dunya News/Web Desk) – Three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting at the Governor’s House on Wednesday to discuss ways and means for bolstering the PML-N prospects in southern Punjab in the upcoming February 8 general elections, just a day after securing a major deal with the MQM-P.
At the same time, Nawaz will visit Balochistan next week [Nov 13] where, sources say, a seat-adjustment deal is expected between the PML-N and the BAP (Balochistan Awami Party), as the former prime minister wants to develop a party image which shows support across Pakistan.
He will hold meetings with important leaders from different political parties as it is expected several prominent personalities will join the PML-N.
Meanwhile, the reported visit to Balochistan has great political significance due to the fact that it was removal of the PML-N in the province through defections that set the tone for the political drama to come.
Hence, Nawaz has seemingly chosen Balochistan for the planned countrywide tour as his first stop for the very reason.
Earlier, senior party leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had visited the province for strengthening party organisation – a task assigned to him, which covers the entire country.
On Wednesday, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz who is the party’s chief organiser, provincial head Rana Sanaullah, close aide Pervaiz Rashid and other senior figures accompanied him at the gathering hosted by Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman.
The sources say Nawaz directed the PML-N leaders to strengthen the party organisation and contact local elders for attracting voters in southern Punjab.
Earlier, the former prime minister arrived at the Governor’s House for offering condolences to Rehman over the demise of his wife.
The recent political activities show that the seasoned politician is now fully involved in the party and election affairs as the PML-N is relying on him to revitalise its organisation and workers after the Shehbaz-led government many supporters over the failure to arrest the record-high inflation which had snowballed into an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis.
On Tuesday, the PML-N and the MQM announced their decision to contest the upcoming elections jointly as one of the visiting leaders, Mustafa Kamal, noted that Nawaz was considered the most senior politician of the region and no one could match his experience.
The announcement came after the PML-N leaders had openly talked about an electoral alliance with the MQM-P and the JUI-F.
In a related development, the PML-N on Tuesday appointed Bashir Memon, who has recently joined the party, as its Sindh chapter president as Nawaz wants a strong organisation for developing strong roots in the province by attracting voters in both rural and urban areas.
The main, if not the only, reason behind the mercurial rise of Memon in the PML-N is his strong conviction that the party should go for closer electoral understanding with other parties to enable it enter the provincial politics an effective fashion.
Soon after joining the party in September, he was the first PML-N leader to say in public that it would opt for election alliance with the MQM-P and the JUI-F in Sindh – a move that is seemingly materialising within a month.
Memon rose to prominence by revealing, when the PTI was in power, that the then prime minister had personally asked to file fabricated cases against Maryam Nawaz and Khawaja Asif at a time when the PML-N leaders and workers were being targeted ruthlessly. However, he refused to obey the directions.