ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Monday discussed the post-Senate elections scenario and decided to gear up efforts to woo the support of smaller parties and independents in the Upper House to secure the Senate chairman’s slot.

Sources aware of the deliberations of the senior party leaders meeting held at the residence of Mian Munir with party Quaid Nawaz Sharif in the chair said that it was decided that the party would immediately contact the coalition partners, smaller parties including FATA and independents to establish the party’s supremacy in the Upper House.

These sources informed that Nawaz Sharif had expressed his dismay over the loss of a seat to PTI in Punjab and said that he had already directed Acting President Shahbaz Sharif to look into the matter and fix responsibility for this laxity.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has assigned party leaders to contact and hold meetings with political parties including Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), FATA, Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-F, Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party.

In this regard, Mushahid Hussain Sayed has been given the responsibility to contact MQM-P and PML-F while KP PML-N President Amir Muqam has been directed to meet the leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami.

The sources informed that though no formal deliberations on party’s candidate for chairman’s slot were made but mainly the names of party Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq and Pervaiz Rasheed were among the favourites.

The meeting at Ch. Muneer’s residence was attended by Raja Zafarul Haq, Amir Muqam, Pervaiz Rashid, Maryam Nawaz, Maryam Aurangzeb, Musaddiq Malik, Abbas Afridi and Irfan Siddiqui.

The sources further informed that PML-N would likely to dole out the slot of Deputy Chairman Senate in the bargain for the slot of Chairman Senate and in this connection the strategy would be devised in the light of the meetings and discussions with the coalition partners and smaller parties in the Upper House.

A senior ruling party leader who is also a federal cabinet member informed The Nation that obviously the slot of Deputy Chairman would be doled out to a person from a smaller province as the PML-N candidate for the slot of Chairman Senate would be from Punjab.

The sources revealed that for the slot of Chairman the person having the backing of Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s group within the party would most likely to secure the party Quaid’s approval.

These sources said that the party would bring a firebrand person with unflinching loyalty to Nawaz Sharif would be the choice of the party leadership and in this connection Maryam Nawaz would have the main say.

Though in the course of bargaining anything could happen but so far Raja Zafarul Haq and Pervaiz Rasheed have emerged as the most strong contenders for the slot with things leaning a bit more in favour of the latter.