A day after 12 independent lawmakers joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, eight more independent MNAs and 11 MPAs have joined the party.
The lawmakers were welcomed by PML-N’s Punjab President Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday at the Sharif residence in Raiwind. The inductees met party president Nawaz Sharif as well.
Speaking to the media after meeting the independent candidates, Shahbaz Sharif said that despite attaining a simple majority in Punjab and the Centre, PML-N would still take other parties as allies and establish a government ‘which would be a true representative of the federation’.
The eight MNAs who joined the party include Sardar Khalid Magsi and Dostum Domki from Balochistan. The other MNAs who were inducted into PML-N on Wednesday were Chaudhry Ejaz, Khusro Bakhtiar, Sahibzada Nazir Sultan, Najaf Sial, Raza Hayat Hiraj and Liaqat Abbas Bhatti,
The 11 MPAs, meanwhile, were Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan – who won one of his provincial assembly seats as an independent candidate – Zeeshan Gurmani, Rai Usman Kharal, Syed Shoaib Ali Shah, Aish Bahadur Mekan, Abbas Sial, Faisal Farooq, Akbar Hayat Hiraj, Azam Cheela, Hassan Jahan Gardezi and Tariq Mehmood Bajwa.
According to PML-N officials, MNA Sardar Awais Leghari and MPA Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari will join the party along with their panel today (Thursday).
PML-N has also approached the Sherazis of Thatta and the Arbabs of Tharparkar to join their party in order to gain on National Assembly and five Sindh Assembly seats.
According to sources, PML-N leaders Chaudhry Zafar Iqbal and Rana Mashhood met Sherazis in Karachi to convey Nawaz Sharif’s message and invite them to Raiwind. Reportedly, the Sherazis sought time to consult their local political allies, especially the Malkani family.
Meanwhile, the Arbabs of Tharparkar are mulling whether to join PML-N or Pakistan Peoples Party.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2013.