After quitting the PML-Q, provincial leader Amir Muqam seems to be doing whatever it takes to strengthen PML-N in the province, bringing back dissenting members and making dents in other political parties.
Sources within PML-N told The Express Tribune that Muqam, now the central vice-president of the party, has initiated efforts to reconcile with PML-N dissidents.
On Saturday, Muqam held a meeting with dissenting members former PML-N secretary general Saranjam Khan and former provincial minister Abdul Subhan Khan.
Saranjam had parted ways with PML-N back in February this year after he felt sidelined with new members being given high posts within the party.
He had spoken vociferously against the party’s new Provincial General Secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak, stating that Khattak had no right to the post since he had only been in the party for a few years.
Saranjam had said that their protests against the appointments went unheeded by the central leadership. Instead of honouring them, PML-N had sidelined the old guard, forcing them to opt out of the party.
Later, Saranjam dissented from the central leadership over nominations for the PML-N leader in Mardan.
Standing by, former secretary general. Abdul Subhan had refused to accept the position for the party’s provincial vice-president.
But now Muqam may be able to bring back the PML-N veterans.
He said that both members had responded positively to his efforts of reconciliation. “The PML-N is bound to emerge as a leading parliamentary party,” asserted.
Muqam plans to hold meetings and contact all those party members that have parted ways.
In the past week Muqam travelled to the Southern districts, Bannu and Karak along with Farid Toofan and held detailed meetings with party dissidents and former political figures.
His strategy for Malakand Division is similar, where he is working to draw in dissidents from Awami National Party (ANP) as well as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Muqam’s efforts are bearing fruit. Haji Niaz Mohammad, an active and diehard PPP member from the Surezai, Peshawar, announced a few days ago that he has joined the PML-N along with his family members. Niaz Mohammad’s breakup with the PPP has also worried ANP, which holds a strong position in this part of Peshawar.
Muqam himself intends to contest elections from NA-4 Peshawar, and is therefore focusing his efforts in this particular constituency.
Additionally, he is making efforts to make cracks amongst the ranks of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
People familiar with the matter said the PML-N leader has contacted Nawabzada Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti. After developing differences with the ANP leadership in early 2009, Hoti had joined PTI in December 2011 and is now said to be looking for other options.
Hoti, Saranjam Abdul Subhan and Muqam will surely make the election game harder for both ANP and PPP in the Mardan district.
Restoring image in Hazara
Muqam has also initiated steps for restoring the party’s image in Hazara division where PML-N lost its support after the issue of renaming the province emerged in 2010. Here too, Muqam is working to bring back party stalwarts.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2012.