LAHORE - Major political parties in the Punjab have reached a 6-4-1understanding over Senate elections in a rare gesture meant to create a greater political harmony in the country. According to this grand compromise, the Senate candidates nominated by them will be elected unopposed without any contest. The new-found arrangement reached between the leaders of major parties that included PPP, PML-N and PML-Q suggests that the number of candidates taking part in the Senate elections will not exceed the number of seats available. All the extra candidates will withdraw on the instructions of their party leadership, making once an all-important Senate elections a mere formality. The initiative, started by none other than President Asif Zardari, has already been implemented successfully in Sindh, where all the candidates in the run have been declared unopposed. The adjustment in the Senate on the part of major political forces will make Senate elections absolutely safe and sound for the candidates in the run, free of any blackmailing from certain quarters, extensive and irksome canvassing and involvement of money often witnessed in Senate elections. With now a compromise formula put in place, PML-N will bag six, PPP four and PML-Q one Senate seat. It is pertinent to mention here that as many as 11 Senators will be elected from Punjab. Senate elections will be held on March 4. On general seats, PPP's Jahangir Badr and Salahuddin Dogar, PML-N's Zafar Ali Shah, Mushahidullah, Pervaiz Rasheed and Raja Zafarul Haq will be the lucky ones to make their place to the Upper House. Similarly from PML-Q Ch Shujaat Hussain will return unopposed. Here Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was the PPP's front man to negotiate with the Chaudhrys on behalf of Asif Zardari On women seats, Sughra Imam of PPP and Najma Hameed of PML-N will have no problem whatsoever in becoming members of Senate and that too unopposed. Likewise on the strength of technocrats those who will benefit from this understanding are PPP's Kazim Shah and Sajid Mir of PML-N. All other candidates who earlier were in the fray will withdraw their papers in a day or two on the instructions of their parties. Already Mushahid Hussain Syed and Rozina Alam of PML-Q have withdrawn their papers. As per this arrangement, the PML-N would be slightly in an advantageous position by virtue of having the support of PML-Q's forward bloc. But the PPP and PML-N will not lose much in the process. Irfan Bukhari from Islamabad adds: Well-placed sources Tuesday revealed to The Nation that the withdrawal of PML-Q candidate on technocrat seat, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, came after a basic understanding between Governor Punjab Salman Taseer and PML-Q leaders Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Elahi while the PML-N leadership was conveyed the messages through the PML-Q. "The PML-N has 170 members while it has the support of 38 dissidents of the PML-Q which takes the tally to 208. This number is good enough to get four general seats, one technocrat and one woman seat," said the sources. "Under the agreement, the PML-Q leadership has given support to the PPP for one technocrat and one woman seat and the PPPP would be the major beneficiary of the deal," added the sources. Elaborating the party position, the sources said the PPP had a strength of 107 Provincial Assembly seats which would get it two general seats. "However, the PPP could not get one technocrat and another woman seat without the support of PML-Q members. The PML-Q has withdrawn its candidates as a Confidence Buliding Measure (CBM) with the PPP and the PPP would return the favour to the PML-Q in the near future. Now the tally of PPP Senators from Punjab would rise to four," added the sources. Meanwhile, PML-Q candidates Senator Mushahid Hussein Sayed and Senator Razina Alam Khan Tuesday announced to withdraw their nomination papers from the Senate elections. Both the candidates had filed their papers for technocrat and woman seats respectively from Punjab. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain announced the withdrawal of both the PML-Q candidates from Punjab in a press conference, saying that the decision had been taken to uphold the democratic traditions 'and defeat the menace of horse-trading and switching loyalties from the country'. He said that the decision should not be taken as deal. "No agreement or deal has been made as the decision is aimed at achieving the goal of unopposed elections as has been done in Sindh", he said, adding that PML-Q had sacrificed one seat just to make sure that horse-trading episode was not repeated in Senate polls. Flanked by Mushahid Hussein Sayed, Razina Alam Khan, Ch Wajahat Hussain, Marvi Memon and others, Shujaat alleged that certain political parties were encouraging horse-trading, which was harmful for democracy. "We have made efforts to ensure unopposed elections for Senate. We had also done so in Punjab in year 2006 and our same tradition has been repeated in Sindh this time. However, the stories of sale of loyalties is on the rise as is being reflected by the media," he said. Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: In a significant development ahead of Senate elections, PPP Secretary-General Jahangir Badr Tuesday called on PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif at the latter's residence in Raiwind. During the meeting, he said that if PPP and PML-N agree on seat adjustment in upcoming Senate polls, it will have positive effect on future relations between the two parties. The meeting, that continued for more than an hour, discussed different issues regarding Senate elections as well as the need for initiating efforts to improve the ties between PPP and PML-N besides law and order situation, imposition of Sharia in Swat, war on terror, new US steps to counter terrorism, lawyers' long march and sit-in, charter of democracy and functioning of the Punjab government. PML-N president and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was also present on the occasion. Talking to Badr, Nawaz Sharif said maintained that his party had always prayed for the long life of the democratic system in the country. He said survival of PPP-led government was directly linked with its own attitude and actions. According to him, the PML-N would never support any movement, leading to dislodge the government. "We will save the system at any cost," he added. He also reiterated his resolve to join the long march. "Democracy cannot be promoted in any country without justice, peace and rule of law," he maintained. He said the government has failed on all fronts including economic, internal and external, adding that economy cannot be strengthened by using crutches like loan from IMF. He said PPP had no option but to adhere to the Charter of Democracy. He said: "Restoration of parliamentary system is essential to save country from crisis." Underling importance of the supremacy of parliament, he said, "It is essential to ensure peace, justice and political stability in the country." He said the policy of taking decisions on important national issues on the basis of liking and disliking of a person was against the spirit of democracy and totally unacceptable. He said PML-N would leave no stone unturned for strengthening democracy in the country, asserting "we are in favour of completion of tenure by the federal government despite manoeuvrings to keep him (Nawaz) and his brother (Shahbaz) out of parliament." "We showed extreme patience, but Asif Ali Zardari failed to honour promises and restore judges," he said. He said the policy of showing politeness should not be considered as weakness, adding that PML-N does not want to repeat politics of the 80s and 90s. He said some unwise friends of President Asif Zardari were ill advising him against democratic forces but he should show wisdom and farsightedness. He said terrorism in all its forms and manifestations was the condemnable. He proposed review of country's foreign policy with the emphasis on establishment of good relations with neighbouring countries. He said there was also need for finding out reasons as to who was responsible - whether those were armed forces or politicians - for failure of Pakistan's foreign policy. After the conclusion of the meeting, Jahangir Badr held a press briefing, hoping that meeting would go a long way in furthering relations between PPP and PML-N. He said it would be augur well if PPP and PML-N agreed on seat adjustment in Senate polls. He said that Sharif brothers assured that PML-N would harness its energy for the continuation of the system. Meanwhile, German ambassador Jorge Clark, heading five-member delegation of members of German parliament called on PML-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Shairf at his residence in Raiwind. The meeting remained focused on Pak-German ties, US policy on war on terror, drone attacks in FATA, tumultuous relations between India and Pakistan after Mumbai mayhem and role of international community in countering the terrorism.