More independents joined the PML-N on Wednesday, putting it in a comfortable position to form governments in the Centre, Punjab and Balochistan; and stand by in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in case the PTI-led coalition fails to set up government.

PML-N had formed two teams, one for Sindh under Senator Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal and the other for Balochistan under General (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch, which have successfully achieved the target of earning support of the winners from the two important provinces.

In Raiwind, the private estate of the Sharifs, a great movement of elected members, and meeting of foreign diplomats with the PML-N chief and incoming prime minister Nawaz Shaif were witnessed the last day. As many as 14 members of national and provincial assemblies called on former premier Nawaz and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, and announced to join PML-N.

According to PML-N sources, the party is on a sound footing to form a government after a number of independent members have come to its folds, and other parties offered unconditional support.

Among the independents who met with the PML-N leaders included MNAs-elect Awais Leghari, Aleem Shah, Muhammad Qadir Leghari, Javed Akhtar, Abdul Rahman Kanju, Khursoo Bakhtiar, Sajjad Hussain Joya, Ahmad Khan Baloch and Hafiz Abdul Karim; MPA-elect Tariq Mahmood Bajwa, and winning candidates from Lodhran and Dera Ghazi Khan.

MNAs-elect from Kabirwala, Multan, Raza Hayat Heraj, Ashgar Ali Shah from Bahawalnagar, and MPA-elect Hussain Jahanian have already announced to join PML-N.

Sources said MNA from Balochistan Jam Kamal, Zar Zameen from Kohistan and some FATA members had also decided to join PML-N, and were expected to make a formal announcement in this regard on Thursday (today). MNA-elect Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim of Muslim People’s League has also announced support to PML-N.

In Sindh, the four-member team led by Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal held a meeting with the Sherazi brothers of Thatta, namely Ayaz Ali Sherazi, Ali Shah Sherazi and Hussain Shah Sherazi, who announced to join PML-N unconditionally.

Sharazis won one National Assembly and four Sindh Assembly seats, while for another NA seat they approached the election commission for a recount of votes.

Chaudhry Jaffar, who was reached over telephone, said they also met with Pakistan Muslim League-Functional chief Pir Pagara who would very soon head into talks with the PML-N chief and announce support to N-League.

Jaffar said so far they had gathered as many as 20 members of Sindh Assembly on a single platform. He dropped a hint that some other members of Sindh might also spring a surprise to form a robust opposition in that assembly.

According to party sources, PML-N is mulling replacement of Sindh government after formation of the federal government. They said the party had three names for this office that included senior leader from Larkana Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, PML-N Sindh president Ghaus Ali Shah and former federal minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi. “Within the party the name of Bhutto finds more favour for this slot.”

In Balochistan, PML-N with nine members and support of nine independents and nationalist parties, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party with 10 members and National Party with seven members elected to general seats of a total of 51 (elections were held on 50) seats is fast striking a coalition to form a government.