ISLAMABAD - With a convincing victory in Gilgit-Baltistan elections and coming in a position to single-handedly form government, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leadership has started consultation to pick the new chief minister for the area for which final decision would be made in a next few days by Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif in the light of the spade work done by the party leaders.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that Premier Sharif was quite happy with the Governor Gilgit-Baltistan and Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ch. Barjees Tahir and congratulated him for the smooth and peaceful conduct of elections in G-B. Out of 24 seats of Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly, PML-N candidates have come out victorious on 14 seats and become in a position to form the government without the support of any other party or group, with chances of couple of independents also joining them further fortifying their position.

Interestingly Pakistan People’s Party which had formed the maiden government in the area after introduction of new system of governance over there could not manage to even win a single seat while the other parties, including Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, JUI-F and ITP could only secure one seat each while Majlis-i-Wadatul Muslameen managed to bag two seats with another couple of seats secured by independents.

Sources in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz) informed The Nation that Premier Sharif has directed Governor GB Ch. Barjees Tahir and other senior party leaders who have been directly dealing with the party affairs in the area to complete spade work so that the new leader of the house in Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly could be picked by next week.

The prime minister would likely be calling the meeting of senior party leaders dealing with the Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs to give their input in finalising the name of party’s nominee for the slot of Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan.

The party leaders who would be joining him in the meeting that chairman of the party and Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, Governor GB Ch. Barjees Tahir, Sidiqul Farooq and Dr Asif Kirmani to discuss the formation of the future government in Gilgit-Baltistan and the name of the party candidate for the new chief executive of the area.

When contacted PML-N central leader Sidiqul Farooq said that he had been associated with the party’s affairs in Gilgit-Baltistan but so far he was not called for meeting on picking the party’s candidate for Chief Minister GB but hoped that the job would be done in a next few days. He further said that it all depend on the schedule of the prime minister who has just returned from his visit to Tajikistan and hoped that a meeting on the subject would likely be called in next few days.

He said that though it is premature to comment on the party’s choice for the top slot in GB, yet spoke high of the party’s BG chapter president Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman for his political acumen and loyalty with the party.

Party sources said that the president of GB chapter of PML-N Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman and a few others were in the run for the top slot but the position of Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman is quite strong for his unflinching association with the party in thick and thin, even in the hard days of dictatorial regime he stood steadfast with the party.

Prominent among others in the run for the top slot included Feda Mohammad and Mir Ghazanfar who too have long association and services for the party.

Sources in the party said before making formal announcement of the party’s nominee for the slot of chief executive Gilgit-Baltistan, most likely in next few days, Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif would having a formal meeting with the party leadership from the area as well as all the winning candidates of the party.