ISLAMABAD -  Despite revival of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, the key component parties of the alliance, Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) would not be joining hands in the upcoming Senate elections as both the parties are separately engaged in negotiations with the main stakeholders.

Sources in both the JUI-F and the JI informed The Nation that it was not made binding on the MMA component parties to support each other in the upcoming Senate elections so they were all weighing their options separately.

These sources, however, said that soon after the Senate elections the component parties of the MMA would quit their other political alliances such as the JUI-F would part ways with the ruling PML-N, while the JI would quit the alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

JI Central Secretary General Liaquat Baloch informed The Nation that there was no compulsion on the MMA component parties to join hands in the upcoming Senate elections but if some parties considered joining hands with each other they could contest these elections jointly.

Baloch said that both the JUI-F and the JI were weighing their options for the upcoming Senate elections separately but so far there was no decision to jointly contest these elections, especially from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The JUI-F, currently holding the Leader of Opposition slot in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, has a strength of 16 in the house of 124, while the JI sitting in coalition government with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has seven MPAs.

The JUI-F is right now engaged in talks on the upcoming Senate elections with the Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarians and other main opposition party, Qaumi Watan Party, but its chances to engage the JI in alliance could not be ruled out.

On the other hand, the JI has yet to decide to land in the upcoming Senate elections with the PTI or would carve out some fresh arrangement with the JUI-F or some other opposition party.

Parliamentary sources said that in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa all the stakeholders in the provincial assembly were also engaged in back-channel contact to devise some strategy to evolve mutually acceptable mechanism for the Senate elections to avoid much-expected horse-trading.

Previously too, the PPPP with just six MPAs in the house had managed to secure a seat in these elections obviously by managing the votes from some other parties through some underhand deal, as for securing a general seat in these elections the party require at least 17 votes.

In the past too, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had evolved a strategy in alliance with the ruling PTI to check horse-trading and to a great extend they had managed it and avoid massive trading of money in these elections.

Parliamentary sources said that almost all the main political parties had annoyed MPs in their ranks, for whom, defection from the party line at this stage would be quite easy as the mandated terms of government would be expiring in a few months following the Senate elections.

Sources said that KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and other senior PTI leaders in the province were eager to enter into some arrangement with other stakeholders in the province because the number of annoyed MPs in the party was quite high and their defection from party line could cost couple of general seats.



Abrar Saeed