LAHORE – The stalemate persists in what appears to be a war between the too-much-demanding Khosas and the bigheaded PML-N top leadership as neither of them has shown any flexibility.

The Sardars of Dera Ghazi Khan – Zulfikar Ali Khosa, Dost Muhammad Khosa and Hassamud Din Khosa – are sticking to their demand for direct intervention of party chief Nawaz Sharif, who is avoiding doing so, fearing that it could become a precedent for blackmailing by the others.

But the estranged political family, which enjoys considerable influence in southern Punjab, has not closed the doors for talks, and none of them except Dost Khosa has formally resigned from party’s basic membership.

The party also says it was making efforts to woo them back and some sources told The Nation that a Nawaz-Khosa meeting could take place soon. But, at the same time, they said the party was looking for other political options in Dera Ghazi Khan in view of an ultimate failure.

There were also reports among the PML-N circles that some senior party leaders were focusing Sardar Jaffar Leghari and Sardar Maqsood Leghari to bring them into party fold if Khosas finally leave PML-N. Close associates of vital members of Leghari tribe told this scribe that both the Legharis were in no hurry to leave their current masters, however, and only a very lucrative political offer would make them switch the sides.

Khosas too were weighing their options, including going to the PPP. Sardar Saifud Din Khosa was already in contact with the PPP leadership, and his close colleagues claimed that he has unofficially joined the PPP and a formal announcement could be made at an appropriate time.

But Saif developed differences with party and his family for awarding ticket to his elder brother Sardar Hassamud Din Khosa for PP-243, Dera Ghazi Khan instead of his son-in-law. Saif Khosa’s daughter is married to the son of PPP’s senior leader from Balochistan, Iyat Ullah Durrani, who has played the key role in making his deal with the PPP.

Due to Saif factor, it was unclear if the PPP would succeed in getting the support of other members of Khosa family as Saif is expected to oppose entry of his elder brother into the PPP.

Some sources said the party leadership wants a reproachment with Khosas to dispel the impression that PML-N was losing support even among its old cadres due to the stiff attitude of few top party leaders, but the leadership would not budge to pressure tactics of any individual or group.

Ahsan Iqbal, senior PML-N leader when contacted expressed the hope that the matter would be resolved very soon saying that Khosas were part and parcel of the PML-N. He added that differences do occur in a family and it doesn’t mean that family members could not be convinced.

Pervaiz Rasheed, spokesman of PML-N and close aide of top leadership when reached said that he has no information about the new developments in the issue. He did not tell if a Khosa-Nawaz meeting was on the cards. Dr Asif Kirmani, political secretary to PML-N chief, told this scribe that he has no schedule with him regarding such a meeting on August 5 or in the next working week.

Bringing Khosas’ loyalty into question, anti-Khosa camp in the party accused that they might have joined hands with the PML-Q if the Chaudharys of Gujrat had made the senior Khosa governor of the province during the Musharraf regime. The PML-N sources said that Dost Khosa whose constituency covers the city limits of the Dera Ghazi Khan, could lose his seat in the next polls, as the PML-N has strong grip in the emigrant vote pockets of the said city. They also said that not a single PML-N leader from South Punjab would follow the Khosas if they would walk out.

Sources said though the party had to suffer some serious damages due to Khosas actions, however the party ignored them keeping in view their services for the party. The sources in provincial government claimed that Khosas’ battle started with PML-N when party leadership asked Dost Khosa to deposit five million rupees, as he allegedly took various items of Chief Minister House with him when he left the office as provincial chief executive.