Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Nawaz-Shujaat ‘political reunion’ leads to PML-N, Q seat-adjustment deal ahead of polls

Breakthrough comes as Nawaz visits Shujaat’s residence in Lahore after gap of nearly 15 years

  • Meeting lasted for 40 minutes at Shujaat's Lahore residence.
  • Adjustment agreed on 2 NA, 3 Punjab Assembly constituencies.
  • Meeting takes after a gap of several years ahead of elections.

LAHORE: In a major political development, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) have decided to enter into seat adjustment ahead of the general elections slated to be held on February 8 next year.

The breakthrough comes as PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday visited the residence of PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in Lahore after a gap of nearly 15 years, sources told Geo News.

The sources said the meeting lasted for around 40 minutes and the two parties had discussed the possibility of forging an electoral alliance and decided to form separate committees to finalise matters in this regard.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders — including Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah, Ayaz Sadiq, and Azam Nazeer Tarar — accompanied the party supremo.

PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, and Shafay Hussain were also in the meeting.

The sources said the two parties have agreed on seat adjustment for two National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly constituencies.

They said the parties will enter seat adjustment on constituencies of PML-Q leader Tariq Bashir Cheema and Salik.

Shafay’s provincial assembly constituency is also part of the electoral agreement, the sources said.

During the meeting, Nawaz also inquired about the health of elderly politician Shujaat, who has served as the country’s prime minister.

However, no official statement was issued following the meeting.

The meeting comes as political activity is on the rise as parties are running election campaigns and forging electoral alliances in a bid to strengthen their position during the elections.

Nawaz — the three-time former prime minister — returned to the country in October this year ending nearly four-year exile in London in a bid to galvanise his supporters ahead of the February 8 elections.

Since returning to the country, the PML-N chief has secured major relief from courts in corruption references that his party believed were filed for political victimisation.

Earlier, the PML-N supremo succeeded in wooing the ‘electables’ from Balochistan to join his party ranks and also forged an electoral alliance with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).