Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo, Nawaz Sharif, is set to embark on a two-day visit to Quetta, Balochistan, aiming to strengthen his party’s organization and establish new alliances in the province in preparation for the upcoming elections.
Accompanied by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, the party’s chief organizer, Nawaz Sharif is expected to finalize a seat-adjustment deal with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), currently led by Khalid Magsi. The BAP, having parted ways with the ruling PTI-led alliance, played a pivotal role in the success of a no-confidence motion that led to Shehbaz Sharif assuming the prime minister’s office for a 16-month tenure.
This prospective agreement with the BAP follows a similar deal secured by PML-N with the MQM-P in Sindh, where ongoing discussions aim to expand electoral collaboration to other parties like Pir Pagara’s PML-F and the JUI-F.
Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to meet with over 20 influential political leaders during his visit to Balochistan, with several expected to join the PML-N. This move is anticipated to enhance the party’s prospects in the upcoming general elections scheduled for February 8.
The visit holds significant symbolic value as Balochistan is where the downfall of Nawaz Sharif’s government began, marked by changes in party loyalty and shifting alliances that ultimately led to the end of then Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri’s tenure. Both Zehri and Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch had left the PML-N, subsequently joining the PPP after expressing criticism against Nawaz Sharif and his policies, particularly regarding accusations against the establishment for toppling his government, his conviction, and the controversial elections in 2018.