PTI reaches out to PML-Q to form joint election strategy in Punjab


— PML-Q leadership contacts Zardari to discuss possibilities of cooperation in elections

— Aleem Khan says Chaudhry Shujaat a nice, big-hearted man; no harm in holding talks with him

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is holding talks with the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) to evolve a joint political strategy for the upcoming general elections, Pakistan Today has learnt.

As per the details, the top leadership of PML-Q and PTI held talks on Sunday to gain support for their respective candidates before constituting a joint committee to evolve a political strategy for the general election and give a tough time to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

According to sources, the leadership of both the parties have agreed to support each other’s candidates and take full advantage of the situation in the 2018 elections. “The favourite candidate of each other in every constituency will be supported irrespective of his or her political affiliation with any of the two parties,” sources said, adding that the strategy was being devised despite the fact that the PML-Q had received severe blows after almost 30 of its leaders including provincial secretary general Chaudhry Zaheeruddin joined the PTI.

Moreover, several other leaders of the PML-Q, which was known as the “King’s party” during former military dictator Pervez Musharraf’s era in 2002 general elections, have already left the PML-Q to join other parties.

It is pertinent to mention here that PML-Q leaders, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, held meetings with PTI chief Imran Khan to muster support for their respective candidates during the Senate polls as well.

It has also been learnt that the PML-Q leadership is holding talks with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to discuss possibilities of cooperation in the general elections.

PTI Central Punjab President Abdul Aleem Khan said that PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was a nice and big-hearted man. “There is no harm in holding talks with him,” he said and added that interviews of ticket aspirants had almost been completed and the remaining interviews for Sialkot would be held today (Tuesday) while candidates for Lahore would be interviewed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

He also said that he would send his recommendations to the central parliamentary board after the completion of interviews the very next day and the board would make the final decision in this regard. However, he said PTI was prioritising its own candidates, who had put up a great fight against the PML-N candidates in the 2013 general elections and remained loyal to the party. He made it clear that potential candidates from the PML-N, who had won the 2013 general elections with a huge margin, would also be accommodated.

Aleem further said that several leaders of the PML-N had joined PTI and there still was a large number of PML-N leaders waiting to join the Imran Khan-led party. “The list of PML-N candidates joining PTI is so long that it has become difficult for us to accommodate them all,” he said.