ISLAMABAD - The victory of PTI’s Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi on a seat of Punjab Assembly during weekend’s by-poll against a coalition of Gilanis of Multan, estranged party leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and the ruling PML-N has strengthened the position of Shah Mahmood Qureshi politically.

Zain Hussain Qureshi, the son of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s central leader Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, bagged success from PP-217 (Multan-VII) by defeating Muhammad Salman Naeem who was the joint candidate of ruling coalition of nine parties.

The PTI’s candidate defeated his rival with a margin of around 7,000 votes by securing 47,349 votes while his rival candidate of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) got 40,425 votes, according to the unofficial results of the by-polls.

The contest for the seat of provincial assembly in Multan was in the limelight from day one as many big players were involved in this by-election. The race gained more importance because former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Yousuf Raza Gilani, an arch rival of Qureshi, had also been supporting the PML-N candidate. The Gilani family has always remained a central character in the politics of Multan, also known as the city of saints, as well as south Punjab.

The political analysts were viewing a very close competition on the seat but the victory of Zain with a clear margin has stunned many, leading to strengthening the position of his father not only within PTI but also in the provincial politics. The constituency falls under NA-156 where Qureshi himself is a member of the National Assembly.

PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gilani, an arch rival of Qureshi, had also been supporting the PML-N candidate

Interestingly, ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has faced humiliating defeat on the same provincial assembly seat (PP-217) from the hands of Naeem in the general election of 2018. Qureshi at that time was wanted to become PTI’s candidate of chief minister (CM) Punjab by winning the election but all his hopes ended in smoke when he lost the contest.

Vice Chairman PTI Qureshi both in the internal circles of his party and openly had been accusing that Jahangir Khan Tareen, who had a central position in the party at that time, was instrumental in his defeat to stop his way to become chief executive of the province. Naeem had won his maiden election as an independent candidate but later joined PTI only to become dissident of the party and lost his seat.

During the campaign of July 17 by-poll, it was strongly being believed  that Zain is contesting to avenge the defeat of his father as Naeem was known to have been the choice of Tareen in the 2018 election.

Finally, Qureshi has prevailed in the local politics of south Punjab by helping his son to become a member of the Punjab Assembly. This is sure that he would like to increase his political fortunes by elevating himself as the PTI’s candidate of CM Punjab in the next general election. But this has yet to be seen how he translates his win into a big opportunity?