• Miftah, Abbasi, Khokhar testing waters for launch of a political party.
  • Khokar is more keen to launch the party than the other two.
  • There is space for launching a new political party, they believe. 

 


 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail has said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had surpassed all political leaders in popularity in a recent opinion poll, The News reported on Wednesday.

Miftah along with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Mustafa Khokhar, who had earlier come up with the idea of seminars on “Reimagining Pakistan”, is also presently testing waters for the launch of a political party.

Miftah told That no decision has been taken as yet, but presently they are seriously thinking on the issue.

He disclosed that they had also done a public opinion survey in July this year, which showed Imran way ahead of all in popularity.

What Abbasi said about his political future in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and about the need for a new political party is part of the trio’s strategy to test the waters before reaching a final decision.

Abbasi, Miftah, and Mustafa are presently discussing the launch of a political party with different people besides encouraging discussion on the issue in the media and social media to assess whether it is a doable option.

Among the three, Khokar is more keen to launch the party than the other two who are not fully clear as yet whether they should do it or not.

All three, according to Miftah, agree there is space for launching a new political party in the present political situation. The question, he said, remains whether they have the capacity to attract people to join a new political party.

Through a leading entity, conducting public opinion polls, Miftah said they have also got a survey done to assess the popularity of different political parties and leaders. Their reading of the survey report made them reach the conclusion of a need for a new political party.

The three believe a significant number of voters, who are presently inclined towards Imran Khan and PTI for their rejection of PML-N, can be attracted by a new political party because neither the staunch supporters of Imran Khan nor of Nawaz would vote for any other political party.

In view of the post-May 9 difficult situations faced by Imran Khan and his party, the PTI, it is believed the new political party may attract significant voters (not the staunch supporters) of the PTI, who would never vote for PMLN or other political party in Punjab.

Among the three, Khokhar, left the PPP after the party’s leadership objected to his certain statements criticising powerful quarters. Miftah got the cold shoulder from the PML-N top leadership for publicly defending his economic solutions, which are different from that of Ishaq Dar’s.

Miftah also criticised Dar’s policies as finance minister and argued that he too was criticised as finance minister by Dar. However, his criticism of Dar’s policies has made him an alien to Sharifs.

Abbasi has started distancing himself from the PML-N top leadership for the last several months. The PML-N top leadership was keen not to let Abbasi drift from them, but the latter sounded dissatisfied with the politics of all the three leading political parties including PML-N.

Abbasi also did not show his keenness in the PML-N ticket for the next elections, while he had already declined to continue as senior vice-president of the party after Maryam Nawaz was announced as senior vice-president and chief organiser of PML-N.

On the direction of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam had visited Abbasi at the latter’s residence in Islamabad to convince him not to leave the office of senior vice-president of PMLN. Shahid had politely declined

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