LAHORE – Formally sealing the fate of PML-Q (Likeminded), Hamid Nasir Chattha Friday announced his support for the PML-Junejo, the Muslim League faction he founded in 1993 overtly to challenge the top role of Nawaz Sharif in ML against late Muhammad Khan Junejo.

Chattha who was the former chairman of the PML-Q (Likeminded) has also fielded his son, Ahmed Nasir Chattha from PML-Junejo platform in NA-101 and PP-103 (Wazirabad) in general elections.

The veteran politician finally surfaced on the radar of the PML-Junejo when TheNation contacted him to ascertain his position with regard to the demise of the Likeminded.

He said, “I and my colleagues in the Likeminded activated PML-Junejo when we got the shocking information that Humayun Akhtar Khan managed to register the defunct PML faction in the name of his office employee, Mulasim Hussain”.

He informed: “I have fielded my son for NA-101 and PP-103 from PML-Junejo platform, while I am not contesting the polls on health grounds following the instructions of my physicians.”

When asked about PML-Junejo’s electoral alliance, he remarked, “Though there is no time left for poll alliances, however, we will welcome advances from likeminded parties”.

About chances of alliance with PML-N, he said, “The PML-N has not entertained us when we were part of the defunct Likeminded and I see little hope of alliance with the former rulers of Punjab”.

However, close aides of Chattha told this scribe that PML-N was considering seat adjustment on PP-103 with Junior Chattha if Chatthas withdraw from NA-101 against the PML-N candidate.

Chattha said it was highly unfortunate that some members of the Likeminded following their individual interests torpedoed the Likeminded and put on stake the political future of their colleagues when the elections were around the corner.

The defunct Likeminded reached an agreement with PML-N last year to get 30 seats of the National Assembly as a result of the electoral alliance between the two parties, however, some of the leaders of the group started independent negotiations with the former ruling party of the province to get seats of their choice especially in Punjab.

Humayun Akhtar Khan who was the general secretary of the defunct Likeminded wanted a National Assembly seat from Lahore, besides adjustment for his brother Haroon Akhtar Khan.

Similarly, Hamid Nasir Chattha desired NA-101 for him and two Punjab Assembly seats for his son and son-in-law, however the PML-N finding lack of electable on the list of the Likeminded continued shrinking the share of the Likeminded, which finally came to one per cent a few days back with the only seat of Humayun Akhtar Khan.

But withdrawal of Chattha and Salim Saifullah support to Humayun after the media reports on new deal with the Likeminded had left the son of the former DG ISI in a dark alley, as the PML-N leadership was of the view that they had no place for ‘liabilities’ especially when the largest party of the province was under immense pressure from several party groups to accommodate their potential candidates.

All the former Likeminded leaders from Punjab, gathered under the umbrella of the PML-Junejo after the betrayal of one among their ranks, have submitted nominations from Junejo League platform.

To secure their political future, some of them advocating joining hands with their former bosses in the PML-Q, while some of them foreseeing no political future of the PML-Q desire to go for the PML-N.

However, neither the PML-Q nor the PML-N have opened arms to take the PML-Junejo leaders into their ranks when the elections are only 36 days away.

             –JAWAD R AWAN