PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. — File photo by AFP
LAHORE, April 21: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz denied favour to the Likeminded faction for the PML-N president suspected group’s loyalties.
“Nawaz Sharif felt that he would be carrying along a ‘forward bloc’ from the day one if he accommodated the Likeminded in the elections,” reveals a senior PML-N official who was part of the parliamentary board that decided the fate of party candidates for the general election.
According to him, Nawaz Sharif did not accept recommendation of his family members as well as other party leaders considered close to him about a known woman leader of the group.
Defending the party chief policy, he argued that suspecting loyalties of the group comprising PML-Q defectors was not wrong and subsequent events proved it right.
He said after denial of the PML-N ticket, a Likeminded leader from Lahore had approached the Chaudhrys of Gujrat to seek his return to the Q League.
The frustrated leader was ready even to seek forgiveness in a press conference for his ‘sin’ of defection, but Pervaiz Elahi did not accept him, the official claimed.
He admitted that Likeminded members were kept engaged and denied tickets at the 11th hour to avert any damage by their joining of rival parties.
Answering a question about seat adjustment with the Jamaat-i-Islami in Punjab, the PML-N official said they were ready to accommodate the JI on three National Assembly seats – Liaquat Baloch in Lahore, Dr Waseem Akhtar in Bahawalpur and Asghar Gujjar in Layyah – but the JI laid claim on 12 seats.
He said Baloch could be accommodated even today provided the JI promised withdrawing all other candidates against PML-N nominees.