The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Awami Muslim League (AML) have agreed to form an alliance for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The agreement was reached during a meeting between Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed at former’s residence on Wednesday, sources told The Express Tribune.
According to the agreement, the two parties will not field candidates against each other and will instead support each others’ candidate.
Officially, the PTI quashed the reports of electoral alliance between the two parties. “The meeting between Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid was a routine interaction and it doesn’t mean their parties are forming a political alliance,” the party’s spokesperson Shafqat Mahmoud told The Express Tribune.
He added that his party has not cut any deal with the AML. However, he did not rule out the possibility outright.
In December 2011, Sheikh Rashid had asked the PTI to not field a candidate against him in his home constituency of Rawalpindi, according to sources.
Since 2008, Sheikh Rashid has lost three times against candidates belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
His defeats are often attributed to his defection from the PML-N to the party of former president Pervez Musharraf. A PTI candidate had also contested one of the two by-elections in Rawalpindi, but failed to win against the PML-N candidate.
He hopes that with PTI’s support, he can win back his lost seat.
Sheikh Rashid had formed his party after parting ways with the party of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in June 2008.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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