LAHORE – Although the PML-Q and the PML-N appear to be at daggers drawn, efforts have been started by the two sides to reach some kind of electoral understanding to be able to counter the PPP and PTI in the next general elections, TheNation has learnt.
With the PML-Like-Minded already in agreement with the PML-N for an electoral alliance, the inclusion of more factions would make the PML an ‘invincible’ force, notwithstanding the tall claims being made by the ruling PPP.  While some top leaders of another major faction of the PML, led by the Chaudhrys of Gujrat against the backdrop of fast-changing political realities, are vying for a political arrangement with the PML-N desiring 33 per cent share in the national and provincial assemblies.
The sources in PML-Q privy to the ‘slow but continuous developments’ told this correspondent on Tuesday here was an understanding between the second-line leadership on both sides of the two Pakistan Muslim Leagues that they should work out a political formula in a bid to counter the PTI and PPP factor, especially in Punjab.
They disclosed that the senior leaders of both the parties were in constant contact to eradicate the hurdles and lack of confidence between the two high commands to reach a seat adjustment formula in the first phase, which could lead to a greater electoral alliance among all the Leagues with taking onboard other likeminded political parties. They quoted the senior party leaders as saying that the PML-Q leadership, while keeping in view its current strength especially in the Parliament and Punjab Assembly, desired it should at least get the same number of seats in both the assemblies in the next polls.
The sources revealed there was a considered opinion in a larger group of the PML-Q that they should not contest the next polls in a political arrangement with the PPP due to the unpredicted response of the PPP voters towards the party candidates in case of a seat adjustment, adding that the ‘excess baggage’ of the PPP would seriously damage the PML-Q contenders especially in the north and central Punjab.
When asked about the resistance to the effort, they replied there was an opposition on both the sides; however, the political compulsions would bring them closer before the next elections.
Asked about the names of ‘peacemakers’ from the two parties, they said the process had begun sometime back through non-political channels, which included a senior doctor who enjoyed good relation with both the top leaderships, besides some businessmen known to the high quarters on each side of the PML.
They, while avoiding naming the political figures from PML-Q and PML-N who are making efforts to reach some kind of political understanding, said senior PML-Q leaders Mushahid Hussain Syed, Kamil Ali Agha and Anwar Ali Cheema were among those who opposed siding with the PPP.
Similarly, senior PML-N leaders Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Asif and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan believed that an understanding among the PML factions was necessary to avert dividing the vote of the Muslim League.
Senator Kamil Ali Agha, central spokesman and close aide of PML-Q high command, when contacted said they would contest the next elections by making seat adjustments with all the political parties and the PML-Q would not stick to apply a single party seat adjustment formula.
Senator Pervaiz Rashid from the PML-N said seat adjustment would be made with all the political parties; however, the formula would vary according to the political needs of different constituencies.