Lahore -As the PML-N government is going to be formed in a couple of days, the party leadership has begun to discuss names for the next Punjab governor.

Incumbent Governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmoor, appointed by the PPP government, had resigned two days after the general elections.

The PML-N insiders say that though certain names are under discussion at the party level, the final selection would be done after June 6 when the PML-N forms the government in the centre and Punjab.

Sources say that former Punjab governor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, Senator Jaffar Iqbal and former bureaucrat Saeed Mehdi are the likely contenders for the governorship but there may be a dark horse as well.

They say that the party wants to appoint the next governor from south Punjab where it has Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa and Jaffar Iqbal as strong candidate. Sources say that former bureaucrat and principal secretary to the prime minister (1997-99) Saeed Mehdi may be the second choice of the party leaders.

Mehdi is highly esteemed by the PML-N leadership for his role in the plane hijacking case of October 1999. Mehdi served under Nawaz Sharif as Lahore and Rawalpindi commissioner. He also played a highly effective role in maintaining law and order as Sindh chief secretary during last government of Nawaz Sharif.

He was also accused in plane hijacking case and despite being pressurised by the Musharraf administration he refused to become approver against Nawaz Sharif. In the recent days, Mehdi gave input in the party meetings to ameliorate things distorted by the mismanagement of the last federal government.

A segment of party members wants to get Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, who hails from Dera Ghazi Khan, back to the Governor’s House to remake the situation of 1999 when Khosa was the Punjab Governor. More than Sardar Zulfiqar himself, a party group led by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, wants to so see him back, the sources claim.

However, in the way of Sardar Khosa there are some bottlenecks created by his son Saifuddin Khosa who switched over his loyalty to the PPP and a sorry tale of his other son Dost Muhammad Khosa who unleashed a tirade against Shahbaz Sharif when Sapna Khan case surfaced against him and he was asked by the CM to clear his position, they add.

The second choice from the south is Senator Jaffar Iqbal, who has meritorious services to the party and is considered a close aide to Sharifs. Jaffar is a confidant of the party leadership and has served as the National Assembly deputy speaker in the 1997 government of Nawaz Sharif. His opinion in the party is highly respected while his hard-work and wisdom helped the party winning the last election from south Punjab.