ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are set to strike a deal for the upcoming Senate elections, as PPP’s Senator Rehman Malik will hold a meeting with MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London in a few days to discuss the formula.

Rehman Malik, on the special directions of PPP leadership, will meet Altaf to discuss a Senate election strategy as PPP wants unopposed election of the Senators from Sindh.

“Like previous practice, Rehman Malik will convey party’s leadership message to the MQM chief for the settlement of unopposed election of Senators from Sindh,” sources in PPP shared with The Nation. Like previous Senate polls in 2012, the sources said, PPP wants unopposed election of the Senators from Sindh and agreement with the MQM over distribution of seats on the basis of the representation of the two parties in the provincial assembly, they said.

The sources said that Rehman Malik will share with Altaf the strength of the candidates from Sindh to ensure their unopposed election. The sudden move to accept the resignations of PTI lawmakers from Sindh is part of the move for unopposed election, they said.

According to the schedule, 21 PPP Senators will complete their tenure by March 11 and both Nayyar Bokhari, Chairman Senate, and his deputy Sabir Baloch will also retire from the Upper House. Likewise, three of the seven Senators from MQM will also complete their tenure.

PPP is presently the single largest party in the 104-member upper house.

The PPP senators who are retiring in March are Jahangir Badar, Kazim Khan and Sughra Imam (from Punjab), Rehman Malik, Farooq Naek, Salim Mandviwala, Islamuddin Sheikh, Maula Bux Chandio, Abdul Qayyum Soomro, Gul Muhammad Lot and Almas Perveen from Sindh, Gulzar Ahmed Khan, Waqar Ahmed Khan, Sardar Ali Khan, Adnan Khan and Farhat Abbas (from KP), Sabir Baloch, Mir Yousuf Badini and Surriya Amiruddin from Balochistan and Nayyar Bokhari and Dr Saeeda Iqbal (from the federal capital).

Among the 52 Senators retiring in March, 21 are from PPP, eight from PML-N, six from ANP, three each from MQM and JUI-F, two from BNP-A and one each from PML-Q, PkMAP and the National Party (NP).

According to the schedule, the intending candidates will file their nomination papers on February 12 and 13. The returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on February 16 and 17. A final list of contestants will be published on February 25 and voting will be held on March 3.