LAHORE - PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif returned from London yesterday morning and held a meeting with senior party leaders to take stock of the situation after Zaeem Qadri’s revolt and discuss election related matters.

Qadri, a long-time party loyalist and president of PML-N Lahore, announced the other day to contest general elections independently after he was denied party ticket.

The impact of that jolt continued to be felt at the party and the public level yesterday and former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif was updated by the party leaders on the post-revolt situation. Appearing before the media, Zaeem Hussain Qadri had challenged Hamza Shehbaz in Lahore election saying, Lahore was not his father’s ‘jagir’ (fiefdom).

He had called the people around Hamza boot polishers and ‘malshiyas’ (masseurs) of Shehbaz’s son, which he said he could never become. He predicted more desertions because of party’s leadership’s attitude to them. Presiding over the party meeting, Shehbaz held consultation on the award of tickets and political situation in different constituencies.

The PML-N president said tickets will be awarded to the aspirants in light of recommendations of the Parliamentary Board. He said merit, loyalty and discipline will be taken into account while finalising names for the ticket holders.

Speaking to meeting participants, Shehbaz Sharif said they will go into the election on the basis of their performance in Punjab – which was far better than any other provincial government. He said Imran Khan and Asif Ali Zardari failed to deliver in their respective provinces, therefore, people have rejected them. He said Sindh, KP and Balochistan will have the same development as Punjab if they got another opportunity to serve the country. Shehbaz said Karachi in particular and Sindh in general was enjoying peace today due to efforts of the PML-N government. He said today the Sindhis regard PML-N as a guarantee to peace in the province that showed a sure win of this party in Sindh. Making a high claim, he said it is not one but all four provinces which the PML-N will win in the next election.

Separately, Waheed Alam Khan – the PML-N candidate in NA-133 (the Lahore constituency aspired by Zaeem Qadri) rubbished the allegations levelled by Qadri before media.  Alam told the media yesterday that whatever the rebel said was baseless and a pack of lies and no one stood with him as everyone stands with the PML-N. He said Hamza Shehbaz loves and respects the workers and what Qadri said about him, was totally false.