LAHORE: As the political activities in the country gain pace ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) have reached an agreement on seat adjustments for the polls scheduled to be held on February 8, 2024.
The development comes after IPP's patron-in-chief Jahangir Tareen called on PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif at the latter's Lahore residence on Thursday, sources told Geo News.
During the high-level huddle, both parties discussed the country's political situation and the possibility of seat adjustment, at both provincial and national levels, to strengthen their respective positions ahead of general elections.
The sources added that the meeting, attended by PML-N's Rana Sanaullah, Ayaz Sadiq, and IPP's Aun Chaudhry, ended with both sides agreeing on seat adjustments in polls.
However, details about 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.
“An audio attributed to me has gone viral on social media. I endorse it,” Kamal says
JUI-F supremo also blames establishment for seeking “government of their choice”
Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori administers oath to the Shah at a ceremony attended by top officials
Met Office advises tourists not to travel unnecessarily
Training culminated with field manoeuver and battle inoculation exercises, says ISPR
PPP chairman foresees president facing multiple cases for violating Constitution