ISLAMABAD - The euphoria of sweeping Senate elections in Punjab and Federal Capital was short-lived as the defeat of PML-N Central Vice President Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir from Balochistan rang alarm bells for the ruling party and invited the wrath of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has directed the party's provincial chief Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Federal Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique to probe the reasons of defeat.

Independent observers and parliamentarians were anticipating the defeat of Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir owing to the fractured and flimsy strategy the PML-N had adopted for Senate elections in the horse trading-prone province, but some insiders in the party were putting the blame of defeat on PML-N Balochistan chapter chief Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Federal Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique who had failed to resolve the party’s internal rifts. But some of the party leaders commenting on the situation attributed the defeat to the wrong awarding of party tickets, especially doling out of ticket on women seat to Ms Kalsoom Parveen, whose term as Senator on Balochistan National Party (Awami) ticket has just concluded, had annoyed some of the party veterans, and its result came in shape of Sardar Yaqoob Nasir's defeat.

Sources in the ruling PML-N informed The Nation that besides having sharp differences within the party's Balochistan chapter, the coordination with coalition partners - National Party and Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party- was equally dismal, which could also be listed as one of the reasons of the poor performance.

Sources in the party informed that both Zehri and Saad failed to convince Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali to withdraw his daughter who was candidate on reserved seats for women against the party's nominee Ms Kalsoom Parveen, who is part of the BNP-A even at the time of the elections.

These sources said that Jamali had caused irreparable damage to the party and even himself cast vote against the party's line.

Political analysts saw a far-reaching impact of the fissures in the PML-N Balochistan chapter and the party would likely to face more setbacks in days to come, as a day before the polling for Senate elections Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir, anticipating his defeat, had threatened to quit the party along with his group in case of his defeat. Similar threats also came from Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali who in a media chat on Thursday said that he would form his own faction of Muslim League at provincial level, so that they could make decisions about their fate and future here in the province.

Sources in the party said that to save the party from further damage, the PM has to take some tangible steps to appease the annoyed party leaders and workers in the province; otherwise the gains the PML-N had made so far with a lot of efforts would go down the drain and even the Murree Agreement with the PkMAP and NP on power sharing formula in Balochistan government could also land in jeopardy. Under the agreement, the nationalists were to have the slot of Chief Minister for the first half term and the PML-N would enjoy the slot for the rest two and a half year.