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PML-F, PTI meet to hammer out strategy for Senate polls.

Byline: Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI -- Pakistan Muslim League-Functional leader Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, who is also a candidate for one of the seven general seats in the Senate from Sindh, on Tuesday held a meeting with leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf at the residence of Dr Arif Alvi, who is president of the PTI Sindh chapter and one of the central leaders of the party.

Those present on the occasion were Imran Ismail, Khurram Sher Zaman, Dr Seema Zia, Senate candidate Najeeb Haroon, Iftikhar Soomro and others.

During the discussion, which was an initial meeting for both sides to muster support for their respective candidates for Senate seats, they decided to continue their talks to find some common ground to get good and experienced people elected to the upper house of parliament.

In the Sindh Assembly, PML-F parliamentary party has the strength of nine MPAs while a candidate on the general seat aspiring to get a seat in the Senate from the province requires at least 21 votes. In the present party position in the house, Muzaffar Shah, who is an experienced parliamentarian and eminent lawyer, could only get re-elected if his party managed to arrange 12 votes from other opposition parties in the assembly like the PML-N with eight MPAs and the PTI with four legislators.

The meeting at the PTI leader's residence was part of the efforts to get lawmakers' support in the Senate election scheduled for March 3.

After the meeting Dr Alvi talking to media said that Shah Sahib was a respectable senior politician and they were grateful to him for the call to muster support for his candidature.

'During the meeting we put forward our point of view for extending the support,' he said and added that besides the Senate election, possibility of mutual cooperation in the coming general elections was also discussed.

Dr Alvi said more meetings after consultation with respective party high commands would be held before deciding any strategy about extending support to each others' candidates in the Senate and general elections.

'We will be able to reach some good conclusion.'

Referring to reports of 'horse trading' with regard to the Senate elections, the PTI leader said it was a matter of concern and sorrow that the floodgates of money were reportedly opened to buy votes for the Senate election.

He said there were reports that in Balochistan all seats were already sold out and now in Sindh 'the seat of the Senate was sold at Rs10 billion'.

However, he said, from the PTI side Engineer Najeeb Haroon was contesting on the technocrat seat.

'He is a very well-known builder and one of the founder members of the party. We are also making efforts to muster support from other parties to get him elected from the technocrat seat.'

Talking to Dawn, PML-F leader Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah said that the purpose of Tuesday's meeting was to find some common ground to support each other.

He said he had a good meeting with PTI leaders and had useful exchange of views.

He expressed the hope that the talks' process would continue further.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 21, 2018
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