Friday, December 08, 2023
LAHORE: As political parties go into electioneering mode ahead of upcoming polls slated for February 8, 2024, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has secured another significant political alliance after landing a seat adjustment deal with Jahangir Tareen-led Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP).
Sources told Geo News that the major political development comes after PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif met IPP patron-in-chief Tarin on Thursday at the former's Model Town residence in Lahore.
During the meeting — also attended by PML-N's Rana Sanaullah, Ayaz Sadiq, and IPP's Aun Chaudhry — the two sides mulled over the prevailing political situation in the country and discussed the prospects of seat adjustment ahead of the upcoming general elections.
The sources said that the two parties have agreed on seat adjustment for the February 8 polls.
However, details pertaining to the number of seats will be finalised in meetings later on, the sources added.
The development comes after the PML-N made a similar deal with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) when PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif visited PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain's residence in Lahore following a 15-year break.
During the 40-minute-long meeting on Wednesday, both parties concurred on seat adjustment for two National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly constituencies — seats pertaining to PML-Q's leader Tariq Bashir Cheema and Chaudhry Salik Hussain's constituencies.
Geo News also reported that PML-Q's Shafay Hussain's provincial assembly constituency is also part of the electoral agreement
The prospects of an IPP-PML-N alliance in Punjab will not only be a major boost for Nawaz's party — looking to strengthen its position in the country's most populated province — but will also strengthen Tareen-led party which has wooed notable electables from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Since its launch in June this year, the IPP — led by former premier Imran Khan's close aides Tareen and Aleem Khan — has been the primary choice of a series of PTI defectors who parted ways with the Khan-led PTI following the May 9 riots which saw military installations being targeted after Khan was arrested in the £190 million graft case.
Notable PTI leaders who have joined Tareen's ranks include Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Murad Raas, Imran Ismail, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Farrukh Habib, Andleeb Abbas, Sadia Sohail, Sumaira Bokhari, Ali Nawaz Awan and others.
This is the third notable political boost for the Nawaz-led PML-N as the party last month succeeded in wooing more than 30 key political figures from Balochistan to join its ranks ahead of the polls.
The party also struck an agreement with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) to jointly contest the February 8 elections
PML-N's wave of alliances comes amid allegations from PTI and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) who have been voicing concerns of being denied a level playing field and the absence of equal opportunities for the political parties in the country.