Internal bickering: With elections looming, PML-N heads towards rifts

Despite efforts to mend relations between party leaders in K-P, PML-N’s bad spell in the province likely to persist.

Manzoor Ali July 26, 2012
Internal bickering: With elections looming, PML-N heads towards rifts


At a time when political parties gear up for upcoming elections, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chapter is instead heading towards internal rifts.

The internal bickering has given way to a war of words with senior party leaders criticising each other openly in the media.

The wrangling between former chief minister Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Pir Sabir Shah and Captain Mohammad Safdar reached party chief Nawaz Sharif on Monday, when Khan and Shah rushed to Murree with Abbottabad MPA Javed Abbasi to discuss party affairs.

However, it seems PML-N’s bad spell in K-P is far from over. Certain leaders hint that all is still not well in the PML-N K-P chapter and efforts to overcome differences between the party leadership continue.

The issue stems from wrangling over Mansehra district – hometown of Sharif’s son-in-law and PML-N youth wing chief Capt Safdar. Safdar has locked horns with party stalwarts Sardar Mehtab Khan and Pir Sabir Shah, who have dominated party affairs in K-P for years.

Talking to The Express Tribune about the Murree meeting, Shah said the party strategy for the upcoming elections was discussed.

“We are soon going to hold a meeting to discuss party’s electoral policy and then I will start visiting districts all over the province,” he added.

Shah said the party’s chief asked them to act in their respective spheres to avoid any issues that crop up. “At the same time some leaders are also trying to settle their issues amicably,” he added.

Senior PML-N leader Farid Toofan informed The Express Tribune that he was in contact with both sides to help resolve their differences.

Still, indications suggest the issue will continue despite Sharif’s intervention. A party official close to Capt Safdar’s camp said the status quo of PML-N affairs in the region persisted for the past two decades. He added the party leadership needed to open themselves to new ideas. Without naming Shah and Khan, the official said that some leaders have rendered many sacrifices for the party and should continue doing so without creating problems. Talking about Shah’s threat to expel some members from the party three days ago, he asked why they had not been fired yet.

“Sabir Shah should explain where he stands,” he maintained.

Observers view the internal bickering as Safdar’s attempt to create a power struggle. The availability of Amir Muqam to head the party’s K-P chapter has also provided him an opportunity to take on Shah and Khan.

PML-N had emerged strong after Muqam joined the party with a large number of his associates from all over the province. Previously, the party witnessed a revolt in Sharif’s presence, when former general secretary Saranajam Khan and his associates quite the party before the provincial general secretary’s election some months back.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.


Musa | 11 years ago | Reply

@ King of Darkness maybe you'd like to reflect on the Shah Mehmood Qureshi/Javed Hashmi and Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali/Azam Swati situation as well.. is that also because of family politics. IK's party is stuffed with his relatives as well so dont go there when his children are of age maybe they'll also take over. Secondly PTI came into existence in mid 90s why havent any elections been held ever in that party?!?! now after oct 30th you feel the need to hurriedly call elections and then make certain rules to make some member ineligible from voting or taking part in elections. Remember when you point a finger at someone 4 are pointing toward you. In my opinion none of the political parties are perfect infact far from it.. it will take time, the only thing we can do is change our mentality and stop expecting things to change overnight... slow and steady wins the race if you remember the hare and the tortoise story!!!

Mohd Butt | 11 years ago | Reply

Totally natural situation, normal in any big party, difference of opinion is so common and sorting out is the job of the leadership, every party doing so, look, MQM, JI, name any, this is the beauty it is not one man show like Ppp.

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