LAHORE - Some major political figures of Sindh belonging to the PML-Q, while keeping in view the changing political scenario and their acceptability in the PML-N, are expected to join Nawaz Sharif very soon, TheNation has learnt.

Informed political sources privy to the developments told this correspondent on Wednesday that former chief minister of Sindh Ali Muhammad Mehar and ex-federal minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi were likely to join the PML-N very soon, as talks with the two leaders reached the decisive phase.

When asked about the precise timing, they said Jatoi, who is organising a public meeting for Nawaz in Bettu Jatoi on March 26, was expected to announce joining the PML-N on the same day, while Mehar was likely to do so in next few weeks.

The PML-Q sources, while talking about Mehar’s loyalties with the party, said though he attended the party meetings off and on, he was in contact with the PML-N and parting ways with the party, which enabled him to become the chief minister, could not be ruled out in the near future.

When contacted, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, the PML-Q information secretary, said Mehar was still attending the party meetings, while Ghaus Bukhsh Mehar, a close relative of the younger Mehar, was standing behind the PML-Q in Sindh.

Mushahidullah Khan, the PML-N spokesman, while avoiding a direct response regarding the expected inclusion of Jatoi and Mehar in the party, maintained that they would give big surprises in Sindh very soon.

Political circles were of the view that the defections would be a major setback for the PML-Q in Sindh, as another former chief minister Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim was also expected to join Nawaz along with his close associates.

Liaquat Ali Jatoi was elected to the National Assembly in 2002 on a PML-Q ticket and was inducted into the federal cabinet. He first held the portfolio of minister of industries and later water and power.

He remained a key ally of Pervez Musharraf who erected the PML-Q, while Jatoi became highly unpopular in his own province when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007, as the people burnt down his house in the home district.

The unpopularity reflected in the 2008 elections as he was defeated for the first time.

Jatoi also served as chief minister Sindh during the PML-N government, which was overthrown by Musharraf.

He was first elected to the National Assembly in 1977; however, it was dissolved by General Ziaul Haq within a few weeks of the elections. Jatoi also served as member of Zia’s Majlis-e-Shoora.

Jatoi won elections of 1985, 1990 and 1997 of Sindh Assembly and in 1990, he was chosen as the provincial minister for finance, excise and taxation.

Sardar Ali Mohammad Mehar belongs to a politically influential tribe (Bhatti Rajputs) from Ghotki fought his first political battle in 2002 and entered the provincial assembly.

The Mehar family cobbled together a strong group under which they not only fielded candidates for national and provincial assemblies seats of Ghotki but they also launched candidates from five provincial assembly seats in Sukkur and Shikarpur districts.