LAHORE, Dec 19: Differences have cropped up between the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and PML-Nawaz following the latter’s ‘solo flight’ in Sindh and south Punjab to woo some ‘strong individuals.’
To hit back, the PML-F is now seriously considering contesting the 2013 elections without going for seat-adjustment with the PML-N, believing that the Nawaz League may not be able to secure even a single seat in Sindh without its support. The party also feels that PML-N was losing ground, whatever it had, in the south Punjab.
The PML-N started annoying the PML-F when it included individuals like former MNA Ahmed Anwar from Khanpur and former state minister Raees Munir from Sadiqabad without consulting Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood, the PML-F Punjab president.
“Well if the PML-N does not want to take us into confidence regarding its political arrangements in south Punjab and Sindh then we too don’t need it,” Mr Mahmood told Dawn on Wednesday.
“We were not expecting that the PML-N would not consult us in taking certain political figures into the party fold. We have also made it clear to everyone that the PML-F will contest the coming polls with its own election symbol, flower,” he added.
Mr Mehmood, despite being considered close the Sharifs, went on to say that without the PML-F’s support the N League was poorly placed in Sindh.
To a question about future prospects of an alliance with the PML-N, the feudal politician from Rahim Yar Khan said: “I wished we could go along in the next elections. But in the present circumstances we will contest the polls without entering an alliance with any party. We were not expecting that the PML-N would not consult us in contacting ‘certain’ political figures in the areas which are PML-F stronghold.”
PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid told Dawn that his party had good relations with the PML-F. “Mian Nawaz Sharif has recently spoken to its (PML-F) president Pir Pagara, Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi who is coming to Lahore and both leaders are expected to meet,” he said.
Mr Rashid said none of the PML-F leaders had expressed any reservation over the PML-N’s contact with any other party or individual. “We have good equation with the PML-F but it does not mean we should ask it about our other political matters,” he added.
Unification of Leagues: Mr Mahmood has been a strong advocate of merger of all brands of Muslim League. He had launched efforts to end the differences between the PML-N and PML-Q. But after meeting the leadership of both sides, he has reached the conclusion that the differences between the Sharifs and the Chaudhrys of Gujrat have reached the point of no return. “Both hate each other,” he said, adding that he had given up his hopes of unification of the two party factions.
About Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf’s prospects, Mr Mahmood said in the beginning the people were ‘deluded’ by Imran Khan’s slogan of change, but later they found no difference between him and the others when he started running after ‘electables’.