Intra-party rifts delay nominations in PML-N


As the PML-N General Council is all set to elect Nawaz Sharif and Sartaj Aziz unopposed as PML-N’s central president and secretary general on July 27, the PML-N top command is facing troubles in finalising the names of provincial office bearers due to intra-party lingual differences.
A source in the PML-N said the tug of war between various lingual communities in four provinces had created trouble for the Sharifs to finalise the names of provincial presidents and secretaries general. “Syed Ghous Ali Shah wants to become party’s Sindh chapter’s chief while the PML-N top command has not yet given a nod in this regard,” he said. The source said the PML-N’s Urdu speaking workers in Sindh wanted provincial president from their community like Saleem Zia or former governor Mamnoon Hussain, while Sindhi speaking workers and leaders were supporting the nomination of a Sindhi leader, like Ghous Ali Shah, for the slot.
“The party’s top command will likely bring a combination of Sindhi and Urdu speaking leader for the slots of president and secretary general to appease both communities,” he added. Another PML-N leader said the party was facing a similar problem in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“In Balochistan, party’s Baloch workers support a Baloch leader for the slot of provincial president, while Pashto speaking PML-N workers want to secure the slot for a man from their community. If the PML-N top command chooses a Baloch, it will get Sardar Sanaullah Zehri or Changez Marri elected as party’s Balochistan president and if the Sharifs prefer a Pashtun, Khuda-e-Noor will be the next provincial president,” he said, adding that in Balochistan, provincial president of the PML-N would be likely a Baloch with a Pashtun secretary general.
“In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, either Sardar Mehtab Abbasi or Pir Sabir Shah will be elected to head the party,” the source said, adding that the possible nomination of a non-Pashtun leader for the slot of the provincial president was being resisted by Pashtun leaders.
He said the PML-N’s Pashtun workers were supporting Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and the differences on giving priority to party leaders from Hazara Division had forced Saranjaam Khan to resign from the basic membership of the party.
The source said the names of party’s presidents and secretaries general for Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had also not been finalised due to intra-party differences, adding that the provincial office-bearers would now be elected immediately after Ramazan.
The source said in Punjab, where the PML-N was not facing problems like in other three provinces, Shahbaz Sharif or Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa was likely to be elected as PML-N’s Punjab chief.
“There are three candidates aspiring for the slot of provincial secretary general in Punjab – Hamza Shahbaz, Khwaja Saad Rafique and Raja Ishfaq Sarwar,” the source said, adding that the PML-N chief would finalise the name of the next PML-N secretary general for Punjab.