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May 19, 2013
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PML-N becoming potent

May 19, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: While accepting dozens of independents, elected to the national and Punjab assemblies, in the party fold, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership has made no commitment with any one of them for accommodation in the federal or provincial cabinets.
“All independents have joined, mostly voluntarily, the majority party without any condition,” a senior PML-N leader, who is part of the ongoing hectic activities at Raiwind, Lahore, told The News.
He said neither any set of independent winners tried to squeeze pledges for their induction in the cabinet nor did the PML-N leadership extend any assurances to oblige them. “Both sides are aware of their bearing and relevance for each other.”
Meanwhile, Murtaza Jatoi played a smart one by merging in the PML-N his National Peoples Party (NPP), which is based in Sindh where the Sharifs’ party is extremely weak, as he wants to fill the vacuum faced by it there. No leading light of the top echelon of the PML Sindh chapter could win any seat in the recent elections. Because of his electoral worth and weight, Jatoi expects to lead the PML-N in Sindh in future with Ghous Ali Shah having become too old to deliver and for having consistently lost successive parliamentary polls.
For the time being, Jatoi is quite likely to make to the federal cabinet as the PML-N doesn’t have too many members of the National Assembly (MNAs) elected from Sindh whom it could take in Nawaz Sharif’s central team. The PML-N won just one seat in the federal legislature from Karachi.
Jatoi has brought to the PML-N two National and three Sindh Assembly seats. The PML-N secured four seats in this provincial assembly.
After the extremely influential Sheerazis of Thattha joined the PML-N, they contributed one national and four Sindh Assembly seats that they won as independents. Similarly, Pir Pagara’s PML-Functional will add five national and seven Sindh seats to the PML-N that it won from Sindh.
Thus,

they will have nearly twenty members in the Sindh Assembly, who will work as the opposition.
In the contest for NA-211 Naushero Feroz seat, Murtaza Jatoi bagged 83,355 votes defeating Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Zulfiqar Ali Behan, who clinched 67,224 ballots. In NA-202 Shikarpur constituency, Ibrahim Jatoi got 54,887 votes as against PPP’s Aftab Shaaban Mirani, who secured 53,165 ballots.
While fighting for NA-238 Thatta seat, Ayaz Sheerazi bagged 88,137 votes compared to his rival, Rameezuddin Memon of PPP’s 77,194 ballots. In the neighbouring NA-237 constituency, Riaz Sheerazi faced defeat by collecting 82,907 votes against 86,705 of PPP’s Sadiq Ali Memon. PML-N’s Marvi Memon secured 25,534 votes.
There is a strong possibility that Sheerazis will get representation in the federal cabinet due to their political influence that would be useful for the PML-N in Sindh in future.
While the PML-N has sealed a comfortable majority to form the federal government, it has got an unprecedented number to put together the next Punjab government. In view of this satisfied scenario, there is a talk of small cabinets both at the central and Punjab levels.
“Since neither Nawaz Sharif nor Shahbaz Sharif require keeping a large crowd happy, they will have very small cabinets that deliver,” the PML-N leader said.
In the past Nawaz Sharif has been known to lead huge cabinets while Shahbaz Sharif has always followed the opposite course by having small teams. Last time, the younger brother used to earn a lot of flak for keeping too many Punjab ministries under his control.
This time, the PML-N leader said, the cabinet in Balochistan will also be small compared to the practice of the previous government when every provincial lawmaker was its member.

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