LAHORE - PML-N President and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had another meeting with estranged party leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Sunday in a bid to address his reservations.

It was his second meeting with Ch Nisar in a week. Political analysts are attaching greater importance to this meeting which has come at the heels of Ch Nisar’s recent outburst against Maryam Nawaz Sharif on the issue of party ticket.

There was no official word available on the meeting but the sources said that it was a last ditch effort on Shehbaz Sharif’s part to bridge the gulf.

“Though the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere but Ch Nisar was not willing to budge an inch from his stance on the party matters,” sources privy to the meeting told The Nation, adding that Ch Nisar showed his utmost concern over statements coming from certain party leaders about his joining of the PTI.   

On Saturday last, Ch Nisar had said that it seemed as if the country's biggest problem has been the issue of whether or not he gets a party ticket for the upcoming elections.

Nisar's statement had preceded a statement from Maryam Nawaz Sharif who observed on Friday last that those not hopeful of getting party tickets for the coming elections were going to join the PTI. Her statement came amid reports that Ch Nisar might join the PTI in the coming days.

Moreover, there were also reports in the past that Ch Nisar was not invited to attend important party meetings chaired by Nawaz Sharif.

Ch Nisar has in the past also exchanged barbs with senior PML-N leaders Pervaiz Rashid and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on various issues.

The rift between Ch Nisar and Mian Nawaz Sharif became visible following Nawaz's disqualification in July last year when the former had advised Nawaz Sharif not to adopt a confrontational course with the institutions.

This one-on one meeting taking place between the two party leaders at Model Town, Lahore ended without any tangible outcome, as Shehbaz Sharif sought more time to end his grievances. 

During the meeting, Nisar reportedly told Shehbaz that vilification campaign launched against him by some party leaders had harmed the party in a big way. He also reiterated his stance that the rift between the PML-N government and state institutions would land the party in trouble. 

The two leaders also discussed matters pertaining to country’s political situation. Recent party defections from south Punjab and other districts was also a subject of discussion in the meeting, according to the sources. 

Shehbaz reportedly told Nisar that he had instructed all party leaders not to violate party discipline and avoid giving statements detrimental to party interests.

Later, Shehbaz left for Jati Umra to hold meeting with his elder brother Nawaz Sharif to brief him about his meeting with Ch Nisar. Again, no details were available about this important meeting between the two brothers.

Sources, however, said that they discussed host of issues including party matters and strategy for the coming general elections. Recent defections from south Punjab also came under discussion in the two-hour-long meeting between the two party leaders.