With Likeminded by PML-N’s side: Nawaz’s ‘grand alliance’ gathers steam

Published: May 13, 2012
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PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Likeminded Chairman Hamid Nasir Chattha oversee signing of the agreement. PHOTO: ONLINE

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Likeminded Chairman Hamid Nasir Chattha oversee signing of the agreement. PHOTO: ONLINE

LAHORE: 

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s proposed ‘grand alliance’ against the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got a second boost on Saturday with the announcement of a seat-adjustment agreement for the next elections with the PML-Likeminded.

The general secretaries of both parties signed the agreement at Raiwind, according to which the PML-N will give 11% of national and provincial assembly seats to Likeminded candidates. The issue of party symbol – whether Likeminded candidates will contest elections using PML-N’s tiger – will be decided later.

Insiders added that both parties have also agreed to woo more Muslim League factions.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sindh National Front chief Mumtaz Bhutto had formally announced the merger of his party with the PML-N, giving the latter a major boost in Sindh’s electoral politics.

Seat-adjustment formula

Talking to the media after signing their agreement, Likeminded’s General Secretary Humayun Akhtar Khan and his counterpart from PML-N, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, said, “The vote-bank of Muslim Leagues has been united to defeat the PPP in the upcoming elections.”

“According to the agreement made between the two parties today, 30 general seats in the National Assembly will be allotted to Likeminded in the upcoming elections,” Akhtar said.

He said the same percentage of general seats will allotted to Likeminded for all provinces, adding that allocation of reserved seats for women, minorities and the Senate will be based on other terms.

According to sources, however, Nawaz has agreed to allot 13, not 30, seats in the national and provincial assemblies to Likeminded candidates.

Strengthening the Leagues

The PML-N chief met with Likeminded’s Chairman Hamid Nasir Chattha for the first time after 1993 to devise a strategy on strengthening the Leagues.

Sources said Chattha has been tasked to convince PML-Q’s former and sitting ministers in the federal cabinet to defect to the PML-N. The PML-Likeminded is a breakaway faction of the PML-Q.

Sources added that Nawaz and Chattha agreed to form a grand alliance, led by the former, against the PPP-led coalition government.

Since the Chaudhrys of Gujrat, the PML-Q leaders, are least likely to join this alliance, sources said that Chattha has been tasked to continue his litigation against Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and seek his disqualification from the party post.

Chattha, while talking to The Express Tribune, confirmed that he would convince sitting PML-Q lawmakers and ministers to join the grand alliance. Only a politics of alliance would oust the PPP-led coalition government, he said.

Chattha added that formation of ticket-awarding parliamentary boards would be discussed later.

Apprehensions

Sources said that Chattha and his colleagues were not ready to rely on Nawaz over several issues.

Likeminded’s candidates are not sure if they would be awarded tickets to contest the election by Nawaz, if the party merges with the PML-N, sources said.

Nawaz had refused to award party tickets to many aspirants at the eleventh hour, they said, citing the case of Humayun Akhtar, who barely got a ticket in the 1996 elections, and his younger brother Haroon, who was denied a ticket in the 2012 Senate elections.

If the PML-N betrays Likeminded, they would announce an alliance with some other political party, sources added.

The group had entered into negotiations with PTI Chairman Imran Khan last year to discuss a possible alliance. The talks broke down though after Imran asked Likeminded leaders to join his party.

Likeminded’s Punjab chief resigns

Likeminded’s Ata Manika, in protest, has resigned from his party post as president of the Punjab chapter following the party’s alliance with the PML-N, Express News reported.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani called him from London, assuring his utmost cooperation.

Talking to the media, Manika said that despite playing a pivotal role in forming Likeminded, the party leadership did not even consult him regarding the decision to form an alliance with the PML-N.

However, later in the night a Likeminded delegation managed to win back Manika who then lent his support to the agreement with PML-N.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Zamir Malik
    May 13, 2012 - 9:27AM

    Well the politics of Pakistan sucks. According to this agreement 11 percent of the seats of PMLN will be given to like minded. This means that those people who actually betrayed PMLN in the past will now be given tickets and in those 11 percent constituencies PMLN real workers who were with PMLN for all those years will be rejected for a ticket. Pakistan is basically a country for Opportunists. Just like after the October Jalsa PTI is hijacked by Electables who overshadowed the Youth in PTI in a similar manner it is going on in every party. This basically tells us the nature of Pakistanis in general as afterall our so called leaders are representing us.

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  • Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani
    May 13, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Next burning and crupt alliance… ufff God… save Pakistan

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  • fahad
    May 13, 2012 - 10:33AM

    PTI rejects are now forming an alliance with Nawaz

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 13, 2012 - 12:47PM

    @fahad:
    u need to update urself… discussions between PTI & the rejected one as u call them failed bcoz IK wanted them to join PTI on collective or individual basis rather than having a political alliance… IK is a baby in political arena he need to learn a lot :)

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  • Blithe
    May 13, 2012 - 1:17PM

    An undivided Muslim league vote bank is the need
    of the hour.

    Recommend

  • Concerned
    May 13, 2012 - 1:30PM

    @fahad:
    If you go through the post again, they are not PTI rejects, they just wanted to keep their own identity, which PTI did not respect. All the heavyweights joining PTI are from the same “Rejects Clan”.

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  • Corrupt
    May 13, 2012 - 2:46PM

    Nawaz Shareef and Former Dictator General Musharaf’s Ba-Ki-Yaaaaaaaaaat!!!

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  • Taz100
    May 13, 2012 - 3:36PM

    Ahh..so no agencies play here? Only those those who join PTI are agency-backed bla bla bla etc!Recommend

  • omer
    May 13, 2012 - 4:13PM

    PMLN should show its true face and form an alliance with all conseratives including the Taliban .

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  • Mohammad Assad
    May 13, 2012 - 5:14PM

    The new game of Agencies….propping up there old horse against the new entrant PTI.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 13, 2012 - 7:43PM

    These are all and the same. Like NS they started with the worst dictator Zia and ended with Gen Mush. Now Mush is a big zero so they went back to their roots. Nothing would change and PML-N would lose many seats fo PTI in the next elections. The next govt would be a coalition of current parties plus PTI. PML-N is history. The tiger of Punjab is an old zoo tiger no matter how many political zeros he adds.

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  • Zoaib
    May 13, 2012 - 8:33PM

    What is the basis for this alliance? Just saying “saving Pakistan” is quite ambiguous. What are the terms on which PML-N is allying with Likeminded. Is it on ending corruption? Or collecting tax? Or the terrorism issue? No sir, it is all about seats and getting to power. Who cares about what happens afterwards…

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