New entrants in party hardly sit well with PML-N leaders


If the new entrants, especially from the PPP and PML-Q, are being greeted in the party by the Sharifs with open arms, they are hardly welcomed by other senior party leaders.
Former PML-Q leaders Marvi Memon and Ameer Muqam (not happy with the ministry given to him), PPP leader Anwar Beg, and more recently Tariq Azeem joined the PML-N at high-profile ceremonies with all the pomp and show that often accompany such events. However, beneath the façade of a new beginning and bonhomie, there were ample signs of discomfort among the party leaders and grandees who did not wholly welcome these leaders in the party fold.
PML-N sources disclosed that Leader of Opposition Nisar Ali Khan opposed the entry of Marvi Memon in the party for her close association with Musharraf. It was learnt that he expressed his disapproval, both inside the party forums and outside.
“As such, he distanced himself from the most of the events featuring Marvi Memon in Islamabad and Lahore after her induction in the party,” a party leader said. But more displeasure was shown by the PML-N leaders when the party gave Anwar Baig the membership of party’s top decision-making body, the Central Executive Committee (CEC), straight after his joining the party.
“His entry into the party and then his membership in the CEC on the same day created widespread ripples in the party and most party leaders opposed this development,” a party insider revealed. All the main parties are on the look-out to attract political personalities who can deliver in the coming election.
But both the PTI of Imran Khan and PML-N are at the forefront of this quest, as if locked in an intense competition in this campaign to out-maneuver each other. At one stage, most political figures not happy with the PPP or PML-N were opting for the PTI.
Recently, the PML-N leadership announced that its doors were open for anybody barring a few exceptions from the PML-Q. “We have been critical of Imran Khan for picking controversial people or those close to Musharraf or for their apolitical nature. Now we are doing same, inducting people closely associated with President Musharraf,” said a PML-N leader. Most Leaguers think that most of these figures joining the PML-N from the PPP and PML-Q are mere liabilities and have little political background or in some cases lacking constituency of their own. “Neither of them is a high-profile figure whose presence could make difference to the party’s fortunes in the coming days,” he commented.
The PML-N, meanwhile, is all set to welcome Sindhi nationalist leader Mumtaz Bhutto in the coming days. It also expects some other nationalist figures, including Shaukat Shah from Nawabshah to join the PML-N. It will be interesting to see how this sits with the PPP in Sindh.