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Foes today, friends tomorrow: People's party, PTI forging alliance?

17 January, 2014

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KARACHI: Khan may not remain 'Buzdil' and Bilawal's frequent politicking tweets may not be freaking ones anymore.

In a surprise and crucial move in Karachi's political affairs, which may influence politics on national-level later on, leaders of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) met here in Karachi in pre-LB polls scenario and discussed potential ways the two parties could work together.

According to sources, both sides discussed ways to forge a pre-poll alliance. Sources added that various options to bring joint candidates for Karachi's mayor and deputy mayor in the forthcoming local government polls were also discussed in the meeting.

PPP Karachi Division President Abdul Qadir Patel led a six-member PPP delegation, while the PTI delegation comprised Imran Ismail and seven other members, sources told our sources.

It was also learnt that the meeting had three rounds on the same day. At first the visiting PTI delegation at Bilawal House agreed to "soften" their stand on Bilawal House security wall. The "dividing wall" appeared as the bone of contention and saw clashes between the PTI and PPP activists near Boat Basin in December 2013.

The second round of talks was held in a place adjacent to Bilawal House. For third and final round of talks, the PPP leaders arrived at one of the prominent PTI leader's house. Sources added that although it was premature to say at this stage which way the politics would turn out, and what possible pre-poll scenario might arise in Karachi in the run up to local bodies elections, both political parties were finding ways to forge an alliance.

The expected bitter-turning-beneficial relationship between two political parties may help them in Khyber Pakhtun-khwa as well. Joining of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) at the Centre may be reasoning possible hiccups for PTI's ranks in KP. The changing political scenario and a possible alteration in KP Assembly may disturb PTI but bring the equation in PPP's favour.

In the KP Assembly of 122 seats, the ruling coalition of PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami, Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan and independents enjoys the majority of 67 members. On the other hand opposition is comprised of 55 members. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and JUI-F have 17 members each. The PPP and Awami National Party have four and five MPAs, respectively. If the PML-N and JUI-F take the daunting task to form government in KP, PPP`s position would be vital.

End.

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