PTI legal team deliberating on possibility of joining hands with MWM

PTI sources say the party being cautious before arriving at a major political decision

Mumtaz Alvi
Members of the PTI hoist their party flags at a public gathering in this undated picture. — AFP/File
Members of the PTI hoist their party flags at a public gathering in this undated picture. — AFP/File

  • Legal team to put recommendations before PTI core committee.
  • Legal experts looking into how many reserved seats PTI would get.
  • MWM says it will be great if PTI joins them.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) legal team is deliberating on the possibility of its backed candidates joining Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) and how much the decision would lead the party to get parliamentary gains, reported The News on Friday.

PTI members, who spoke to The News on the condition of anonymity, shared that consultations are still ongoing as many ifs and buts are involved.

“This has never been done in the country’s political history; perhaps, therefore, extreme caution is being exercised before arriving at a major political decision,” they said.

The PTI and MWM have been allies for years but the recent suggestion has put both sides in an entirely different proposition.

According to party sources, the legal team’s recommendations will be presented before the PTI core committee for a final decision. They say their party will be putting at stake its identity, and this is of utmost importance as it needs to be understood how much it will gain in terms of reserved seats which indeed would be MWM seats. The MWM has never enjoyed a significant presence in parliament.

“The real question before us is also what exactly the price of meeting the legal requirement to qualify for women’s reserved seats will be,” a senior PTI lawyer said.

Accordingly, it is understood that the list of women candidates for reserved seats must have been very short; therefore, against PTI-backed over 93 returned candidates, the due share might not be available accordingly.

Parliamentary sources say it would be interesting to see how the Election Commission of Pakistan will react to the possible new scenario in view of the Elections Act, 2017.

“We have no problem. It will be great if our platform becomes a PTI platform to take forward a leap for failing the moves of political opponents,” said a senior MWM member told The News.

PTI to join hands with MWM to form govts in Centre, Punjab

Earlier this week, the PTI claimed that upon directions of its founder Imran Khan it will be joining hands with MWM to form its governments in Centre and Punjab.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan said that the former prime minister, while ruling out the prospects of any talks with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), has directed the party to form a coalition with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) over reserved seats.

"Those who have emerged victorious in the [February 8] polls, should be allowed to form the government as it is their right [do do so], he said while conveying Khan's message.

"I have been given the mandate [by Khan] to approach all political parties to continue the party's political struggle for democratic values with the exception of the PML-N, MQM-P and the PPP," Hasan added.

His remarks come as PTI-backed candidates have emerged as the largest group by winning over 90 National Assembly seats followed by the PML-N and PPP with 75 and 54 seats, respectively.

In light of the fact that no party managed to succeed in securing a simple majority, the role of independent candidates has become even more important with both the PML-N and the PPP attempting to rope them in to strengthen their parliamentary positions.

The PTI's decision to join hands with the MWM — which has only secured one National Assembly seat — comes as its sponsored candidates, who have won 116 provincial assembly seats in Punjab, will have 72 hours to join a party once the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notifies their win.

In Punjab, the party would need to join hands with independent candidates and other parties to form the government in the largest province where currently the PML-N is in the lead with 137 seats.

Meanwhile, welcoming the development, MWM chief Allama Raja Nasir Abbas had said that the party would unconditionally accept the PTI founder's decisions.