ISLAMABAD - With clear-cut ‘no’ to extend the coalition with Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa into electoral alliance, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would hardly go hands in hands with other coalition partners in the upcoming general elections as well and would prefer to have seat adjustment with all the political forces including its incumbent allies.
PPP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Anwar Saifullah Khan had minced no words saying that they were natural opponents of ANP in elections and it would not be possible for both the forces to have electoral alliance.
However, he said that the party was open to seat adjustment with various political forces including ANP in the province and in this connection negotiations are under way. On the other hand, the party is confronted with a similar situation in Karachi as well where it would be quite difficult for both the coalition partners - PPP and MQM - to form some sort of electoral alliance.
Although President Asif Ali Zardari had extended an offer to MQM leadership that on certain seats in port city of Karachi PPP would not field its candidates but whether they would be getting similar gesture from MQM in interior Sindh cities of Mirpur Khas, Nawabshah and some constituencies of Hyderabad is yet not clear.
Sources aware of the development informed that PPP wanted to bargain with MQM, as latter’s candidates, though not in a winning position on various constituencies in interior Sindh, yet they are definitely be in a position to damage the PPP candidates in those areas in the face of expected joint candidates of newly formed alliance of nationalists, PML(F) and PML-N. The electoral alliance of PPP with PML-Q was also in doldrums as both sides had failed to strike consensus on seat adjustment formula despite several meetings and another meeting between the two sides were scheduled for February 15 at the residence of PPP Punjab President Mian Manzoor Wattoo.
The sources aware of the development on this front informed TheNation that both the sides were too demanding in the seats adjustment deal, particularly in Punjab where the Chaudhrys from Gujrat had demanded a free hand but now PPP was in no mood to be gracious with them, perhaps, owing to pressure from within the party.
The sources in PML-Q said that the party leadership was not happy over what they termed backtracking of PPP from the earlier agreement made with them wherein PPP Co-Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari had pledged to give all the seats currently held by Q-League MPs as well as those seats in Punjab as well where their candidates had returned runners up in the last general elections. The sources further said that Q-League leadership was perturbed over the uncertainty hovering over the seats adjustment with PPP, as the future of Q-League mainly hinges on the alliance. Without any favourable seat adjustment deal with PPP it would extremely difficult for Q-League leadership to keep the electables intact in its wings, who otherwise are preparing to alight the Q-League bandwagon.
On the other hand PPP leadership was deliberately lingering the seat adjustment dialogue with Q-League with the objective to see maximum of their MPs and heavyweights fleeing them, making the task easier for them to slice a better deal in the absence of these heavyweights.
The sitting down of PPP President Asif Ali Zardari along with his son and party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Lahore also not well taken by the Q-League leadership, which at the time of alliance with PPP had thought that in next general elections they would be in driving position, particularly in the Punjab, and standing on the shoulders of PPP they would re-enter the power corridors with great ease.