LAHORE – PML-Q policymakers, foreseeing losing half of its share in the next polls owing to its weak links in 10 districts of Punjab, focusing another 12 districts in the province as electoral battlefield in which they are anticipating party’s victory, TheNation has learnt.

However, the policymakers claim that PML-Q will remain the third political force in the National and Punjab Assembly keeping in view the strong possibilities of split mandate in the result of next elections.

While, the remaining 14 districts of the province will be a mix of the PPP, PML-N and PML-Q according to the policymakers of Q-League and upsets could also be expected in these districts owing to a direct fight between PTI and PML-N.

PML-Q insiders’ privy to the developments regarding party plans about its political future told this correspondent on Monday that party policymakers have demarcated districts of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Khanewal, Rajanpur and Multan in South Punjab, while Sahiwal, Okara Jhelum and Gujrat in Central Punjab and Sargodha and Attock in North Punjab as the strong winning fields for PML-Q and focusing all efforts on these districts.  They, as the losing fields for the party, named districts of Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Khushab, Mianwali, Bahawalnagar and Pakpattan adding that Niwanis have the veto to decide the fate of Bhakkar.

About the party position in Jhang, they informed that PML-Q would secure its two seats from the district provided Makhdom Faisal Saleh Hayat and Sheikh Waqas Akram remain part of the PML-Q, otherwise it might not be able to retake the Jhang district.

Insiders quoted the party policymakers as saying that they set the target of securing at least 41 seats of the Punjab Assembly against their previously secured 84 seats in elections of 2008, while the target for the National Assembly seats fixed at least getting 22 seats, however the PML-Q secured 54 seats in the result of 2008 polls of which the larger chunk of the seats was bagged from Punjab.  However, upsets in the result due to PTI and PML-N contest in some of the constituencies could put more seats in PML-Q pocket.  They further quoted the policymakers as saying that they foresee at least three seats from Sindh, two from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one seat from Gilgit-Baltistan.

About taking the old fellows back in the party from the ranks of Unification Bloc or Like-Minded in the National Assembly, they said party’s high command has decided to take back only the ‘winning horses’ and no ‘political liabilities’.

Insiders, about seat adjustment details, told this scribe that party would make this arrangement with PTI, JUI-F, PPP, MQM, ANP, JI and nationalist parties of Sindh and Balochistan keeping in view seat-to-seat situation and the local political dynamics of various constituencies.  Replying to a question about reunification of Muslim Leagues, they said that the opportunity to unite all the factions has been missed in the past and the party leadership firmly believes in forging alliance with likeminded forces.

Senator SM Zafar, central senior vice president PML-Q when contacted, neither denying nor confirming the information said, “Predicting the number of seats at this stage is somewhat difficult, as it will depend upon the seat adjustment formula, while according to my information this formula has not been settled with likeminded forces”.

He further said, “The success of party depends upon the right seat-to-seat arrangement”.

Asked about joining hands with PML-N, he said, “The best time for this opportunity has gone, however, I don’t see reunification of all the Muslim Leagues in the near future but I will continue my efforts in this direction with a special emphasis on PML-N”.

He also said that he does not see any cooperation between the two major factions of Muslim League if the elections are held early, however, the possibilities of PML-Q and PML-N embracing each other are possible if there will be on-time polls, as the situation will compel PML-N to extend hands to embrace their old colleagues.  To another query about remaining the part of PPP coalition, PML-Q leader said, “It will become difficult for the party leadership to carry on with this coalition if the elections are held in 2013 owing to PPP’s policies, while party leadership is quite wise on the issue and they have their ‘antennas’ on the matter”.

Riaz Pirzada, federal minister and senior PML-Q leader, when reached, insisted that all the winning horses will remain part of the party and PML-Q will once again emerge as the third political force in National and Punjab Assembly.  He observed that PML-N and PTI will not be able to accommodate all the candidates and the people who are in business of electoral politics will turn to PML-Q as an viable option to test their fate in the electoral field, thus PML-Q would prove as the ‘dark horse’ in the next polls.