As political fortresses go, there are few in the country as impregnable for the Pakistan Muslim League-N opponents as the Lahore constituency which is titled as NA-120.
This constituency has thrice elected Nawaz Sharif as the country’s prime minister since 1990. Before that Mr Sharif had won the National Assembly (NA) seat from the area in 1985 but had chosen to vacate it since he wanted, and easily secured for himself, the office of the Punjab chief minister.
Since then in the elections the PML-N leader couldn’t take part, his nominees easily returned from here.
Some thought the disqualification of Mr Sharif by the apex court in the Panama Papers case could upset a large section of his voters here as Kulsoom Nawaz now seeks to retain the family seat.
The loudness of her campaign, run by Maryam Nawaz with unprecedented pomp and glory, aims to overwhelm any second thoughts the old Sharif voters might have harboured.
With the Sharifs holding the seat since 1985, the impression among the people here is that they have a magic formula to ensure their invincibility in this constituency.
The talk about the PML-N having developed a most efficient network comprising not just the quite often over-emphasised biradari element has been vindicated election after election.
The fact is that the Sharifs have worked long and hard at knitting together a system of local influential figures and it is really an uphill task for their opponents to make a contest of it.
However now the things are rapidly changing in Lahore as the close contest between the Aleem Khan and Speaker Ayaz Sadiq shows. The low or narrow margin victory of Ayaz Sadiq shows that Lahore is getting out of Sharif’s trance.
If we look at the constitunency one can see that NA-120 is suffering hell of problems and it might be predicted the PTI candidate can give a tough time to Kulsoom Nawaz. Apart from this it is also clear the this constituency would decide the future of the PML-N in the Punjab. If it looses this seat it mean it would be end of PML-N’s politics.