LAHORE – The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is giving special attention to Sindh and Balochistan with a view to winning a considerable number of seats in the upcoming general elections after it miserably failed to make a mark in the 2008 elections in these provinces.

Despite mammoth rallies by the PTI, the PML-N still does not consider Imran Khan as a serious threat; while the party believes that the PPP and its allies pose the real challenge to its chances in the upcoming elections. The PML-N also thinks that the PTI will only be able to facilitate PPP victory in these elections.

The PML-N works on the strategy of bringing the PTI potential candidates to its fold to frustrate designs of the latter. According to sources, the party is optimistic of bringing PTI stalwarts to its fold before the elections.

They say a special election strategy has been devised for Sindh and Balochistan to win the support of nationalist parties and the potential individual candidates, though the party has been facing serious challenges in Punjab where the PPP-PML-Q alliance and the PTI are poised to offer it a tough contest, particularly in the southern part.

Southern Punjab has mostly been a grey area for the PML-N. In the current scenario, things appear to have become even arduous. As such, the party is geared for hard work in this part of the province.

Being a ruling party in the Punjab, the PML-N is quite hopeful of earning benefits of the schemes the provincial government launched especially for students, middle and lower middle classes, and farmers, as well as from the relief it provided to the flood-hit people in Southern Punjab for whom a hefty sum of amount has also been announced in the budget 2012-13.

For Punjab, it has got the support of Likeminded dissidents while other celebrities like Tariq Azeem, Anwar Beg, Marvi Memon, Mumtaz Bhutto and Ameer Muqam have come to this party to generally uplift its position before the election. The sources say the committees formed by the party to woo others, is going to achieve a success in Punjab in days to come.

In KP, the PML-N has a different election plan. The party priority is to forge an alliance or seat adjustment most probably with Jamaat-e-Islami which is very likely to boost the party tally from the current only nine seats in the provincial assembly.

The sources claim that the headway has been made in a meeting between PML-N Provincial President Pir Sabir Shah and JI Provincial Amir Sirajul Haq and a major development is expected on the return of Nawaz Sharif from Germany.

Amir Muqam, who has joined PML-N, enjoys a big clout in Malakand Division although his political influence in KP cannot be undermined by any means. Following Muqam, the PML-N eyes other Q-disgruntled to get them into the folds nevertheless efforts have to yet to be put into top gear in this regard.

In Balochistan, the planning is to everyone, including the disgruntled leaders. A committee, headed by PML-N Baluchistan President Sardar Sanaulla Zehri, is in contact with the local stalwarts like Mahmood Khan Achekzai, Mir Khasil Bazenjo, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Maulana Asmatullah, Q-dissidents and Mazari and Bugti tribes.

Nawaz Sharif himself has held a meeting with Sardar Ataullah Mengal. The party sources say, the efforts are afoot to take Baloch and Pashtun to the party cadres. The party president is reportedly, also undertaking a tour to this province in days to come.

Recently, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra visited the province and held productive meetings with the political parties and individuals.

In Sindh, the party faces big challenges posed by the PPP and the MQM as well as some religio-political parties. In the urban areas of Sindh, the party is likely to forge an alliance or understanding with JUP-N and most likely with the JI while in interior Sindh it banks on nationalist parties and electable candidates. Nawaz Sharif has held marathon tours of interior Sindh where he received tremendous support, even in the PPP’s stronghold, Larkana. Nawaz Sharif is revisiting Karachi on July 19 where former MPA Manzoor Punho and others will announce joining the PML-N. Dr Ghulam Arbab Rahim of Likeminded is big political achievement for the party in upper Sindh while Liaquat Ali Jatoi in Dadu.

A committee led by PML-N Sindh President Ghous Ali Shah is in contact with many politicians and hopefully many big names will announce joining the party soon. The discreet party strategy is expected to pay off in this province.