LAHORE – The PML-Q, in a bid to reclaim its lost ground in Punjab, has started efforts to make inroads in the PML-N and PTI with special focus on Central and Northern Punjab, TheNation has learnt.
The coming of Dr Azeemuddin Zahid Lakhvi, Jamiat Ahle Hadith leader who was considered as a close ally of the PML-N, and Sardar Tufail, a prominent PTI leader, into PML-Q ranks from Kasur district seems to be the first strike of the Chaudhrys of Gujrat in this connection.
Senator Kamil Ali Agha, a senior PML-Q leader, said the party’s top leadership had launched a district-wise campaign to review its position in Punjab, besides taking back its former leaders who had left the party and joined the PML-N or the PTI because of reasons best known to them.
However, Agha did not comment when asked which PML-N leaders were being targeted by his party. The ruling party in Punjab enjoys the support of a large group that won the 2008 elections on PML-Q ticket and now calls itself ‘Forward Bloc’ or ‘Unification Bloc’. Similarly, the PTI has succeeded in winning the support of most of the ‘unemployed’ politicians earlier with the PML-Q.
Sources close to the PML-Q high command told this scribe on Saturday that the party’s focus was on Central and Northern Punjab, as well as some areas of Southern Punjab. When asked why these regions of the province had been focused, they said PML-Q MPs who formed Forward Bloc in the Punjab Assembly belonged to these regions, while the PTI had also taken into its ranks many of PML-Q leaders from here.
The sources informed that Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Kasur, Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts were being focused in Central Punjab; while Attock, Rawalpindi, Khushab, Sargodha, Mianwali, Bhakkar and Jhelum in Northern Punjab. In Southern Punjab, the party would focus on Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan, because many of its sitting parliamentarians have joined the PTI from these districts.
They further informed that Deputy Prime Minister and PML-Q Punjab President and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi were steering the entire drive, while senior party leaders were assisting them.
Meanwhile, prominent leader of the Jamiat Ahle Hadith belonging to Kasur, Dr Azeemuddin Zahid Lakhvi, along with Sardar Waqas Moakal, the son of former Punjab Assembly deputy speaker and former minister Sardar Hassan Akhtar Moakal, have announced joining the PML-Q during a meeting with Pervaiz and Moonis Elahi.
Pervaiz addressing the participants at the joining ceremony announced that Dr Azeemuddin Zahid Lakhvi would be party’s candidate from NA-140 and Sardar Waqas Moakal from PP-180 in the next general elections. He claimed that the Jamiat Ahle Hadith had become PML-Q’s ally with the joining of Dr Azeemuddin Zahid Lakhvi and his followers.
PML-Q president Punjab maintained that Jamiat Ahle Hadith would be its political partner across the country during the next general elections.