‘Vagaries of politics’ drive Nawaz to meet Shujaat after 15 years

  • Erstwhile rivals discuss strategic collaboration, seat adjustments during upcoming polls
  • PML-Q chief seeks at least 10 NA, 22 PA seats in Punjab during meeting with PML-N supremo, say sources

LAORE: What is being seen as significant development in “political machinations” in the run-up to the general elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain held a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, discussing seat adjustments between both the parties ahead of the general elections scheduled to be held on February 8.

The meeting, held at Shujaat’s residence in Lahore, was the first between the two leaders in 15 years. Current political landscape and mutual cooperation in the upcoming elections were discussed during the meeting.

The meeting, attended by prominent members of both parties, addressed strategic collaboration and seat adjustments during the upcoming polls. Among those present at the meeting were Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah, Saad Rafique, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, from the PML-N, while the PML-Q was represented by Salik Hussain, Shafay Hussain, Tariq Bashir Cheema, and Imtiaz Ranjha.

During the discussions, Nawaz and Shujaat emphasised the need for cooperation in the upcoming general elections. According to insiders, PML-Q sought a substantial share of seats from the PML-N in Punjab. They said that Shujaat requested more than 10 National Assembly and 22 Punjab Assembly seats.

Shujaat’s proposal for seat adjustments included requests for seats in Gujarat, Sialkot, Mandi Bahauddin, and Hafizabad. He argued that areas where PML-Q candidates were successful in 2018 should be adjusted.

“We supported the no-confidence motion without any fear or greed; now we should be compensated accordingly,” sources quoted Shujaat as saying during the meeting.

Shujaat stressed the importance of not losing votes in Punjab to PTI, PPP or IPP, saying that unity would be beneficial for both PML-N and PML-Q. “Aligning with the PDM had led to differences within our family, but we have no regrets about our decision; we remain satisfied with our choice,” he added.

Sources revealed that Nawaz Sharif expressed gratitude for the PML-Q’s support during the vote of no confidence against Imran Khan in April 2022 and subsequent cooperation. Both leaders also reminisced about positive experiences of the past as well.

They disclosed that a joint committee of the PML-N and PML-Q is expected to be formed in the next few days which will present recommendations on all seat adjustment issues to the top leadership of both parties.

 

 

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