After forging an alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) the PML-Likeminded has geared up its efforts to lure former and incumbent PML-Q parliamentarians and ministers as its leaders think the newly formed alliance of the two factions has increased the relevance of the latter, providing an opportunity to all disgruntled pro-PML-N PML-Q leaders to use the platform of PML-Likeminded to mend fences with the Sharifs.
“We could not attract most of the PML-Q leaders when we launched the PML-Likeminded in July 2009, as some PML-Q parliamentarians, despite their reservations with the Chaudhrys, were sceptical about the future of the dissident bloc as they believed that the Likeminded group would not only soon disintegrate but would also not be able to reconcile with the PML-N,” said a PML-Likeminded leader. He said after being successful in forging an alliance with the PML-N, the PML-Likeminded had re-launched its ‘break Chaudhrys’ men’s movement with the confidence that all pro-PML-N Q-Leaguers and parliamentarians would join the Likeminded bloc. “A number of PML-Q parliamentarians, unhappy with the PPP-PML-Q alliance, and those who remained unsuccessful in securing lucrative positions in the present set-up are also contacting us,” the leader claimed.
MML COMPONENT PARTIES: Meanwhile, the PML-Likeminded did not take its allies from the Muttahida Muslim League (MML) – a four party alliance of PML-F, PML-Likeminded, PML-Zia and Awami Muslim League – into confidence before entering into an alliance with the PML-N.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, president of the Awami Muslim League, told Pakistan Today in an angry tone that the leaders of PML-Likeminded had not taken component parties of the MML into confidence before forging an alliance with the Nawaz-led league.
Until recently, PML-Likeminded had failed to make a heavy dent to the mainstream PML-Q headed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and it had the support of a limited number of PML-Q leaders such as Hamid Nasir Chattha, Salim Saifullah, Humayon Akhtar Khan, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Kabeer Wasti, Gohar Ayyub Khan, Ghaffar Qureshi, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Haroon Akhtar Khan and Kashmala Tariq.
A source in the PML-Likeminded told Pakistan Today that the party’s leadership was in contact with former National Reconstruction Bureau chairman Daniyal Aziz, PML-Q’s former MNA Marvi Memon, Owais Leghari and his brother Senator Jamal Leghari, Senators Tariq Azim, Javed Ali Shah and Naeem Chattha, and hopefully they would join the PML-Likeminded. These PML-Q senators had formed an independent bloc in the Senate after their breakup with the Chaudhrys, but they are not part of the PML-Likeminded yet.
The source said the PML-Likeminded was also in contact with a number of incumbent PML-Q MNAs such as Shahzada Muhi-ud-Din, Ameer Muqam, Riaz Fatiana, Nauman Langrial, Jaffar Khan Laghari and Jam Mir Muhammad Yousaf. “Our party is also in touch with former ministers Sikandar Bosan, Sarwar Khan and Yar Muhammad Rind,” said a PML-Likeminded leader.
On the other hand, PML-Q leaders claim that Saifullah’s party’s efforts to woo PML-Q parliamentarians would end in failure. “The dissident bloc wants to sell PML-Q men to Nawaz Sharif… our leaders and lawmakers, even if they have intentions to join Nawaz, will strike deals with the PML-N individually to bag maximum political gains instead of being used by the PML-Likeminded leaders,” said a PML-Q leader.