Islamabad - With the formal resignation of Iqbal Zafar Jhagra from the slots of senator as well as central secretary general of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) after his nomination for the position of Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the aspirants for these slots have geared up their efforts for securing the blessings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also head of the PML-N.

Insiders in the party informed that the candidates have started lobbying for these slots even before the formal nomination of Iqbal Zafar Jhagra to step into the shoes of Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi, who had tendered resignation as Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the beginning of this month.

Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Abbassi said that he wanted to play active role in constituency politics and for becoming eligible to be in the political arena in 2018 general elections, he needed to be out of government service for at least two years time, so under a well thought-out plan he had left the job.

But a source in the party listed some other reasons for his leaving the priced slot of the governor KP as well because there was some undue infringement in party politics in Hazara and he (Mehtab) felt threatened to be marginalized in his home constituency by some people very close to the prime minister.

Sources in the party said that for the slot of party’s secretary general, which would most likely be given to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has limited choice and he has to pick from among a few with Pir Sabir Shah and Engineer Amir Muqam among the forerunners.

Another source in the party said that it is not necessary that next secretary general of the party would be from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and he could even be from Balochistan as well. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could go for appeasing Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir who was a bit annoyed with the party leadership for not seriously taking his election for the slot of Senate from Balochistan which he had lost because the coalition partners of the government — National Party and Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party - in the Balochistan Assembly had ditched him.

Sardar Yaqoob is currently holding the position of central vice-president of the party but to appease him the Prime Minister could dole out the slot of central secretary general to him in case he decided to bring the new secretary general from other then Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Against the Senate seat vacated by Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, over half a dozen candidates are in the run some of whom were not given party ticket against the general seat from the federal capital.

Prominent among those who were refused party ticket when Senate elections were held last year included Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui and Syed Zafar Ali Shah.

Sources in the party said that generally Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz stands a fair chance to clinch the party ticket for the Senate seat vacated by Iqbal Zafar Jhagra but the chances of winning the race by some dark horse could not be ruled out as witnessed in the run for the first ever mayor of the federal capital.