By Aijaz Ahmed
As the political chess board in Pakistan seems to have relatively opened up, the knights of the PPP, the major political stakeholder of the democratic dispensation, are apparently getting ready for the next move, obviously the task to ‘take over’ Punjab, a long awaited dream of PPP since the days of first ZAB government.
The political observers are minutely watching every move of President Zardari and the shrewd Choudhris of Gujrat, and calling Nawaz Sharif a Maulvi in a recent speech by the president himself at Naudero was a clear indication of the future strategy.
Whistles of change are being blown in the country, and this time the change is to come in Punjab, say party insiders in the power corridors of Islamabad. ‘Kashmir elections were test case for us’, say party insiders adding that every thing moved in right direction for us according to our plan. ‘Observers were indicating a clear victory for PPP in Kashmir and we achieved that task’, insiders say adding that ‘Nawaz Sharif miscalculated the situation and fell in the trap we planned for him’, they added.
Mian Nawaz Sharif rather helped our plan move forward, the party sources said and further maintained that the tone and the words President Zardari adopted in the Naudero speech were calculated and were a strong response to the speeches Mian Nawaz Sharif was delivering during the election campaign for Kashmir. MNS did not unfold PML-N’s election manifesto and future plans for Kashmir. He rather followed the line of Ch. Nisar and his other fellows who in the recent past made Mian sahib politically isolated, and thus the election campaign of PML-N in Kashmir paid us, sources said.
‘Winning two seats from Rawalpindi - Islamabad out of three had been a landmark for us and gives us confidence to move forward’, party sources are claiming. The next move will be against Shahbaz Sharif, sources added. Backdoor political contacts are established with Unification block and the group may be offered assurances for next elections, a sizable number of lucrative ministries and deputy speaker-ship in the Punjab Assembly, sources reveal.
Return of Unification Block to PML-Q fold is a matter of days now, sources claimed. Ch. Wajahat is being tipped as new Governor in case the change occurs and Chief Minister-ship will remain with PPP. Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Raja Riaz, Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar and Qamar Zaman Kaira are being assigned important roles to finalize the move and get results. Faryal Talpur and Syed Khursheed Shah will be overall in-charge of the move as they were in Kashmir, sources maintained.
Latif Khosa, the sitting Governor of Punjab can be assigned a new and more important role in future in case Ch. Family will be given Governorship, sources said. Setting up PPP led government in Punjab is a long awaited PPP dream as after ZAB government, Punjab was never ruled by the party itself, said party sources adding that the move will preempt political threats to the democratic set up from the present Punjab Government.
We have received information and strong evidence that the PML-N was planning a long march to press for its demand of mid term polls if it had won the Kashmir elections. The victory in the valley could have given legitimacy and strength to its demand, and thus we made counter moves and removing Shahbaz Sharif is part and parcel of the planning to release political pressure from Punjab, sources maintained. The move is planned, but time frame for the change at the moment could not be given, sources maintained adding that the change in Punjab would be the only solution for PPP to implement its manifesto and bring some relief to the common men to ensure victory in next general elections, which may be held next year.