LAHORE - Former prime minister and PML-N President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will preside over an important party meeting on Thursday (today) that has been convened to discuss the replacement of party chief minister in Balochistan, prevailing political scenario in the province, NAB notice to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for appearance before the inquiry team over the alleged corruption in Ashiyana Housing Scheme of the Punjab government.

According to party sources, the said issues will form main items on the agenda of meeting today. However, the party will also take up other issues like Opposition’s protest, next Senate and general elections and party organization in Balochistan etc. for discussion. They said the PML-N Balochistan leadership had specially been invited at Jati Umra residence of the former prime minister. Besides, PML-N leaders in Balochistan including Senator Yaqoob Khan Nasir, MPAs and others, the meeting will also be attended by Mahmood Khan Achakzai of PkMAP and other leaders of his party, and Mir Hasil Bazenjo of National Party which formed coalition with the PML-N in the provincial assembly.

Sources say the party leadership was ill at ease since replacement of the PML-N Chief Minister Sanaullah Zahri which took place through his resignation clearly to preempt his ouster from the office through a no trust motion that commanded the support of more than 40 MPAs of the total 65 in the Balochistan Assembly. The shocking aspect of the matter is the support of about 10 of the 21 PML-N MPAs in Balochistan to the no-confidence against the chief minister of their own party. Even more perturbing aspect of the whole matter for the party leadership is election of PML-Q MPA as new chief minister of this geographically largest province of the country when this party is not only rival to the N-League but also holds strength of only five MPAs in the House. PML-Q Chief Minister Abdul Qadus Bazinjo was elected to the provincial assembly in the May 2013 election only bagging 544 votes and he obtained 41 votes for election to the chief minister slot.

The party president, while talking to media in Islamabad the other day, had expressed serious concern over the way this change in Balochistan came about just months before the general election and had announced to hold a meeting on the issue to know the reasons behind that overnight split in the provincial party and its dissidents voted in favour of the candidate of the rival party.

Party sources say that the leadership believes in the working of any hidden hand in this maneuvering for which it also had some evidence. They say if the suspicions proved true, likelihood exists that the matter will be agitated through the prime minister before the concerned ones, besides action against the revolting MPAs.

Sources say the meeting, to be attended by the Punjab CM also, will take into consideration the NAB notice to Shehbaz and would decide further course of action in light of legal opinion of the party’s legal wizards.