PML-N woos back Khosas ‘minus Dost’
LAHORE, Aug 24: To the disappointment of Muslim League-Nawaz’s political rivals, estranged party stalwart Sirdar Zulfikar Ali Khan Khosa agreed to reconcile with the PML-N leadership here on Friday.
A formal announcement in this regard is likely to be made at a press conference on Saturday (today) after Mr Khosa will call on party chief Nawaz Shairf.
Opposition Leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan met Nawaz Sharif before visiting Mr Khosa at the latter’s residence where he held a successful dialogue with the septuagenarian leader, who had resigned as senior adviser to Punjab chief minister on Aug 2.
Zulfikar Khosa’s son Dost Muhammad Khosa, a former chief minister, had followed the suit by tendering his resignation from party membership and held a press conference where he criticized Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s style of governance.
Khosa junior had also accused the chief minister of maligning Khosas by leaking ‘false’ reports of corruption involving the family to the media.
Hissamuddin Khosa, another son of Zulfikar Khosa, was also present during the parleys with Chaudhry Nisar but Dost avoided the meeting citing ‘personal engagements’.
Khosa senior has a long association with the party and stood by it through thick and thin. Nawaz desired immediate rapprochement with the senior politician who had kept alive the party during former army ruler Pervez Musharraf’s regime but Dost Khosa’s tirade against the Sharifs kept him away from approaching the Khosas.
Meanwhile, various PML-N leaders, including Khwaja Saad Rafiq, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Pervaiz Malik, made abortive attempts to reconcile the Khosas.
However, Nawaz, before leaving for Umra, sent Khosa a message urging him to refrain from any further move or statement against the party leadership until he (Nawaz) returned home.
Reconciliation reports disappointed PML-N’s opponents as Punjab Governor Latif Khosa had even predicted publicly that the Khosas would join the PPP. PPP efforts were reportedly on to woo the Khosas.
The Khosas’ departure from the party could have dealt a serious blow to the PML-N in south Punjab as one of the senior party leaders from the region, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, had already left it and joined Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf.
PML-N is already a marginalised party in the Seraiki belt occupying not more than one-fourth of the national and provincial assembly seats in the region. The party has also no political figure from the region of the stature of Hashmi or Khosa.