PML-N, Q strike seat-adjustment deal after Nawaz-Shujaat icebreaker

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LAHORE: The political reunion of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) top leaders led to a seat adjustment deal between the two parties after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif met Chaudhry Shujaat for the first time in 15 years on Wednesday.

The major political development came during the 40-minute meeting between the PML-N and PML-Q supremos, where the two sides discussed the possibility of forging an electoral alliance, sources said.

They said that the meeting also decided to form separate committees to finalise matters regarding the alliance.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders — including Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah, Ayaz Sadiq, and Azam Nazeer Tarar — accompanied Nawaz to Shujaat’s residence in Lahore.

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).

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