LAHORE – In the run up to the next elections, forces across the political spectrum have intensified their efforts to make maximal gains from seat-sharing deals and electoral alliances.

In a latest development, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid on Saturday reached an electoral understanding with the Bahawalpur Awami National Party (BANP) and its loyalists.

A two-member body has been formed to finalize seat adjustment arrangements in Bahawalpur division, where Tariq Bashir Cheema is likely to represent the PML-Q and Malik Farooq Azam would lead the BANP.

The significant meeting took place between PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, party’s Punjab chief Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and BANP head Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi at the former’s residence in Lahore.

Talking to the media, Shujaat said both the parties would give a tough time to their opponents in the upcoming polls.

About the possibility of joining hands with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the PML-Q president said, “It is impossible.” More political alliances would come into being after the dissolution of the incumbent assemblies,” he went on to say, “The coalition partners would also change their courses.”

Commenting over the possibility of unification of the various Muslim League factions, Shujaat said, “Pir Pagara and his late father did try to unify the Leagues; these days are for preparing for the elections.”

BANP chief Salahuddin said the two parties had forged a natural alliance, since the PML-Q supported the restoration of Bahawalpur as province and Pervaiz Elahi advanced this rightful demand. He further said they would also include certain influential groups of Bahawalpur division into the newly formed alliance to become a formidable opponent.

In another significant political move, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and PML-Likeminded, a breakaway faction of the PML-Q, have formed a committee to look into arrangements for seat-sharing after striking a pact. The development came during a meeting between PML-F chief Pir Pagara and PML-Likeminded chairman Hamid Nasir Chattha.

Interacting with reporters after their meeting, Pagara and Chattha stressed the need for unification of League factions, saying the Pakistan Muslim League would form the next government, provided that all the splinter groups gathered under a single umbrella.

They said the split among the Muslim League would make it difficult for the Leaguers to get a sizeable share in the elections ahead. The two veteran Leaguers said that a united Muslim League would possess the largest vote bank and the Leaguers should unite setting aside their petty differences to tie themselves to a single knot.

PML-Q’s Kashmala Tariq, Major (retired) Ghulam Abbas, Muhammad Ali Durrani, Imran Riaz Narag and Sheikh Anwar Saeed were also present during the meeting.