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Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to the media in Lahore, on May 14, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to the media in Lahore, on May 14, 2013. — Photo by AFP

LAHORE: The PML-N has reached out to political players in Sindh and Balochistan in its efforts to widen its support base outside Punjab and explore the possibility of forming provincial governments or play the role of an effective opposition there.

In Karachi, its team comprising former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Jatoi, Rana Mashhood and Senator Jafar Iqbal called on PML-F president Pir Pagara and invited him to join the PML-N-led federal government.

The PML-F accepted the offer to join the federal government and become part of the opposition in Sindh while the PML-N endorsed the latter’s call for a protest on Thursday against rigging in the province.

The meeting decided that PML-F leader Imtiaz Shaikh would meet Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday. It will be followed by another meeting between Pir Pagara and Nawaz Sharif in Lahore.

The leaders of the two parties expressed reservations over what they called large-scale rigging in the elections in Sindh in which the governor and the caretaker chief minister were also allegedly involved. They also criticised the speech of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

The N-League has secured 123 seats to become the largest party in the National Assembly. Although seven independent MNAs, mostly from Punjab, have joined the PML-N raising its tally of seats to 131, it needs at least three more members to attain a simple majority to form its government.

The PML-F has secured four National Assembly seats.

Another team comprising MNAs-elect retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, who has defeated Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in a Lahore constituency, is in Quetta for talks with nationalists, particularly Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.

Mr Achakzai, who had sided with Nawaz Sharif in thwarting the former ruling party’s bid to postpone elections, is being offered a greater role in the National Assembly, though his party has won only two seats in the lower house of parliament.

According to a PML-N official, the nationalist leader may replace Dr Fehmida Mirza as National Assembly speaker if their talks on formation of the federal and Balochistan governments end positively.

Talks are also under way to take the Jamaat-i-Islami along. The JI has secured three berths in the National Assembly and shown its inclination towards the PTI for forming a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In Balochistan, the PML-N with a tally of nine seats is seeking to form a coalition government with the PkMAP (10), JUI-F (6) and National Party (6). Eight independents are also being approached, Ayaz Sadiq says.

Since the N-League and its alliance partners in Sindh, nationalists and the PML-F, have failed to secure any significant strength, it has decided to sit in

the opposition, instead of joining the PPP-led government.

Habib Khan Ghori also contributed to this report.

Comments (6) Closed

Khalid Butt May 15, 2013 10:53am

To improve relations with India, NS should release all indian prisons as his first step to have good relation with India.

Mustafa Ali Khan May 15, 2013 10:54am

Uncle Nawaz is made big liar to propose Imran khan we all know that because if uncle dissembles all parties in elections 2013 then he will also dissemble in friendly relationship. He said that we will play friendly match if imran khan joined us. He backbits imran khan before elections and now he is asking for help to support. Why? is he doesnot have any money to spend on his state or own the problems of country? As he had become P.M. of pakistan with power of wealth and waiting for president seat. So, he has no right to ask help from imran khan. If PML-N is opposing league, then we should be also opposing league of PML-N. kindly we request PML-N that please don't give support to our PTI league because he had conquered much of states except our state. So we request our leader imran khan that please donot join party of PML-N for his state good and make new pakistan in KPK.

KhanChengezKhan May 15, 2013 11:52am

Experiences shows that coalition government never be strong for any concrete decision also small partners likes to have high profiles although they have no proper experience for the profiles but bargaining always be the priority for them. If PML-N's Leader Nawaz Shariff have endorsed the call for a protest on Thursday against rigging in the Sindh province by their allies then he should have to prepare similar protest in Punjab as well as in the whole country because PTI, PML(q), PPP, MQM and other independent parties have also lodged their claims of high rigging cases in Punjab and other provinces. PML(n) now become the regional party similarly to PPP, MQM and others because he got the votes extremely in high just in Punjab in the other provinces the party has no any strength. Since Punjab has the highest National Assembly seats based on their populations therefore one can say that PML(n) is going to govern all other provinces having only Punjab seats. Comparing to the previous PPP government who had members from almost all the provinces was more strong than present PML(n) government. I don't think that Punjab Muslim League PML (n) government would be tough to complete their 5 years term.

KhanChengezKhan May 15, 2013 06:35pm

@Khalid Butt: What about Manmohans Singh, he also have to take similar steps for releasing thousands of Pakistanis held in Indian prisions. Tit-for-tat is the right solution.

KhanChengezKhan May 15, 2013 06:44pm

PML(n)'s leading in election has been a selection of SPower who always supports and brings into power to those who are positive in their foreign policies. They never wants anyone come into power who are against their foreign policies. PTI is against the and PML(n) has shown their support similarly to previous government of PPP. The positive result of PML(n) is not the result of votes but the outcome of SPower.

Salman Saleem May 15, 2013 12:40pm
It is good step by PML-N to take parties with representation in Sindh, KP and Balochistan on board. It will add colors to PML-N federal govt to portray national appeal. It will also allow ML-N to do strong and constructive opposition in Sindh and KP.