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

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

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

What Shahid Abbasi said about his political future in PNLN and about the need for a new political party is part of the trio’s strategy to test waters before reaching a final decision.

Shahid, 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, Mustafa 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 the three, according to Miftah, agree there is a 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 for 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 PMLN, can be attracted by a new political party because neither the staunch supporters of Imran Khan nor that of Nawaz Sharif 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, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, left the PPP after the party’s leadership objected to his certain statements criticising powerful quarters. Miftah Ismail got the cold shoulder from the PMLN 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 had argued that he too was criticised as finance minister by Dar. However, his criticism of Dar’s policies has made him an alien for Sharifs.

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

Shahid Abbasi also does not show his keenness in PMLN 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 PMLN.

On the direction of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz had visited Shahid 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. Now, he appears to be quitting the PMLN anytime.

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