KARACHI - The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has finally decided to gear up its activities in the Sindh province. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will personally monitor the efforts to revive the ruling party in the province.

It has been learnt that the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Karachi and Thatta was part of this effort and he would continue to visit the province in the coming months. Nawaz Sharif had announced Rs20 million development projects in Thatta and given a go ahead for mega development schemes in Karachi. He had issued directions for accelerating the work on the Green Line Project.

According to PML-N sources, the party leadership is taking keen interest in revamping the party in the province after defection of party leaders Ghous Ali Shah, Hakeem Baloch, Mumtaz, Bhutto, Liaquat Jatoi and Arbab Ghulam Rahim. The defected leaders had expressed their reservations about a lack of attention from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the Sindh province during the last four years.

According to the PML-N leaders, the party top leadership had decided to pay special attention to the Sindh province in a bid to give a tough time to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the next general elections of 2018.

Party sources confirmed that according to the new plan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would tour rural parts of the province and announce development packages to muster support for his party from people of the province.

“Several politicians joining the PPP had given an impression that Sindh was becoming a stronghold of the party, but soon after the prime minister started his visits to the province, a new enthusiasm was seen in the PML-N cadres. They are hopeful that these visits can be helpful in making a dent to PPP politics in Sindh,” he said.

The appointment of Muhammad Zubair, a confidante of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as governor of Sindh has also given the PML-N leadership a hope for party’s revival in the province. “The Governor’s House will be the epicentre of all PML-N activities now. Zubair will emerge as party’s face in the province and oversee the party affairs,” the sources said.

They said that the prime minister would continue visiting the province and his next visit would be to Hyderabad on March 25 where he would announce development packages for Hyderabad and Tando Allah Yar. He would also announce establishment of a university in Hyderabad.

The PML-N sources said that positive results of the prime minister’s visit had started to emerge, as Sheerazi brothers of Thatta, who were unhappy with the prime minister for ignoring Sindh, had assured him of their full support after the Thatta visit.

Other influential political leaders of the Sindh province are also likely to join ranks of the PML-N after assurance of complete support to them from the top PML-N leadership.

Furthermore, PML-N sources said that the party was trying to make inroads into the areas considered strongholds of the MQM after creation of a vacuum in the city’s political arena due to divisions within the MQM.

The party leaders are planning to hold more political activities in the port city. So far, they have promoted the outcome of the federal government-led Karachi operation and projects for Karachi such as Green Line Mass Transit project, Karachi Circular Railway project and Lyari Expressway project.

The party has also decided to make use of its governor, who belongs to an Urdu-speaking family, to dent the MQM. The MQM vote bank mainly consists of the Urdu-speaking community.

“Some sector level office bearers of the MQM had joined the party in various areas of the city. The top PML-N leaders have been tasked with making contacts with the MQM leaders with a clean background and bringing them into the party,” they said.