There’s no formal battle cry that signals the start of election season. However, when the leaders of the biggest political parties, Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif relinquish their normal politeness and attack, then you know election season is here.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan, not to be left in the background, alleged that the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had entered into an underhand ‘deal’ to save each other from facing accountability, sparking a fierce reaction from both the PML-N and PPP. He claimed that the release of Dr Asim Hussain, Ayyan Ali being allowed to leave Pakistan, the flight of Sharjeel Memon, the return of Asif Ali Zardari, and even the presence of Nawaz Sharif in Sindh this week was all part of a “deal with the government”, in exchange for favourable treatment over the Panama scandal. Every other public disagreement is a “fixed fight”.

Such fantastic claims are nothing new, this has been unofficial party line for PTI, and to suggest that the PPP and PML-N have been able to orchestrate all this to both emerge triumphant in the end gives these parties too much credit.

The only meaningful thing to come out of these claims is the elucidation of where PTI will stand when it comes to the next election. There will be no opposition alliance with the PPP, and it seems they don’t want one either.

With elections in a year, these fights will become frequent, and the allegations of match fixing even more fantastic. But the reality is that a real alliance between the PPP and the PML-N is not on the cards, and will never be. There is neither a history of such a strong alliance, or any incentive for them to come together after decades of mudslinging. The “deals”, more often than not, seem like bait to pull the rug from under one another – there is no risk of Mr Sharif and Mr Zardari becoming bosom buddies leaving Mr Khan out in the cold.

But the PTI chairman doesn’t care, not for substantiation nor for the suits. The friendliness between PPP and PML-N in the early days of this government is all the evidence that was needed. They result is that claims like these will continue to find traction amongst his fan base, and to a certain extent, the larger public. PPP and PML-N’s efforts to clear the name of their leaders at all costs have doomed them in the eyes of the public.