Panic grips PML-Q with Nawazs return to Pakistan

November 25th, 2007 - 2:17 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Nov 25 (ANI): The top leadership of the PML-Q fears that a majority of the party candidates for the forthcoming elections might defect to the PML-N following former premier Nawaz Sharifs return to the country today.
The first casualty of the changing political situation in the country was former premier Shaukat Aziz, who decided not to contest elections, timely realising that he would have no space to politically manoeuvre in the presence of three former premiers Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Shujaat Hussain.
Though the return of Bhutto had jolted the PML-Q, it did not let the situation get out of hand by managing to ensure that elections were held under emergency and as early as possible so that the opposition parties do not have time to run their election campaign.
But what came as a rude shock to the PML-Q leadership is the “decision” of the powers-that-be to allow Sharif and his family to return to Pakistan before elections.
“The understanding with Benazir was that she would return to Pakistan after the general elections, but her early arrival and her brinkmanship made Musharraf rethink his policy towards Nawaz,” a presidential source said.
Sources said that the decision to allow Nawaz to return at this time is a calculated one to neutralise Bhutto.
Though they do not foresee any merger of the PML-Q and the PML-N at this stage, they do predict a possible understanding between the two estranged leagues on the basis of seat adjustments to avoid split of the anti-Benazir vote.
“Politics is a game of possibilities. If Musharraf can shake hands with Bhutto and mend fences with Nawaz, everything is possible,” a senior PML-Q leader said, when asked if the Sharifs and Chaudhrys would bury the hatchet.
He said it would be premature to say that Nawaz would abide by the APDM decision to boycott the election, the Daily Times reported.
“It all depends on what decision Bhutto takes on boycotting elections,” he said, adding that details of the arrangements under which Nawaz was coming back were still not known. (ANI)

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