ISLAMABAD - Main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) is to seek removal of sitting provincial governors in order to ensure impartial elections in the country, party sources said on Tuesday.

The party leadership, according to the informed sources, would take up the matter with President Asif Ali Zardari soon, adding that PML-N regards the sitting governors’ partisan since they belonged either to the ruling PPP or its coalition partners.

“We can not accept them. They are not neutral, therefore PML-N will demand appointment of apolitical persons as governors in the provinces”, a senior party leader told TheNation requesting not to be named. The PML-N’s demand comes after three sons of sitting Punjab governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood joined the ruling PPP yesterday at a public meeting that was also attended by the governor himself.

This evoked sharp reaction in the ranks and files of the PML-N that believes unless the sitting governors were removed and neutral persons were appointed, the main opposition party would not dissolve the provincial assembly. This development followed a strong reaction from the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, who is also PML-N’s central leader Chudahry Nisar Ali Khan.

In his press talk earlier today, Nisar categorically stated that his party held the key to the dissolution of assemblies, a veiled warning to the PPP-led ruling coalition that PML-N would not compromise on its demands.

Among the four sitting governors, three belonged to the PPP including the governors of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan provinces, while MQM has its governor in Sindh province. The sources in the PML-N insist that since the main opposition party stands bright chances to win elections in the four provinces, sitting partial provincial governors could undermine its core political interest.

It was learnt that except Khyber Pukhtuankhwa province, the PML-N has already completed the homework for the upcoming elections. It has cultivated and roped in electable candidates from Balochistan and Sindh provinces and would announce its elections alliances at an appropriate time.

 In Punjab, where it is in government, the PML-N was confident to secure more national and provincial assemblies seats than it won in 2008 elections largely because of the better governance and development work it has carried out while being in power in the most populated province.

In Khyber Pukhtunkhwa the PML-N, sources, maintained was still in process of finding credible electable candidates as well as election allies to secure maximum number of national and provincial assemblies seats. The sources said that PML-N was simultaneously talking with various political players to forge election alliance including the ruling ANP, JUI (F) and Qaumi Wattan Party (QWP) led by former provincial Chief Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao as well as PML-Q (Likeminded) headed by Salim Saifullah Khan.