The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is mulling over jointly contesting the upcoming Senate election. This idea was proposed by PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who believes that a joint candidature will allow the opposition alliance to secure more seats, a private TV channel reported. The final decision will be made during the 11-party alliance’s meeting slated for February 4. As the date for Senate elections comes closer, political manoeuvring nears its peak with both the ruling party and the opposition devising plans to secure a majority in the upper house of the Parliament. In Punjab, reports said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar continues to contact assembly members of Shehbaz Sharif-led PML-N and is trying to bring back estranged PTI members. At least two PML-N MPAs were scheduled to meet the provincial chief minister Tuesday evening. Buzdar was also to meet estranged PTI lawmaker Khawaja Dawood Salmani. A day earlier, PML-N MPA Azhar Abbas Chandia had called on Buzdar to discuss public problems of his constituency. This time, the ruling party has suggested conducting Senate polls through a show of hands instead of a secret ballot to eliminate horse-trading. A presidential reference has been filed in the Supreme Court wherein President Dr Arif Alvi has asked whether the condition of secret ballot under Article 226 of the Constitution applies to Senate elections or not. The government has stressed that the ‘secret ballot’ is not a constitutional provision and just a statutory provision under Section 122 (6) of the Elections Act 2017 which can be amended by an act of parliament or through an ordinance under Article 89 of the Constitution. After a telephonic conversation between PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman on Tuesday, the venue for the PDM Kashmir Day rally was moved from Rawalpindi to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Reports said a delegation of senior PML-N leaders including AJK PM Raja Farooq Haider and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had called on the PDM chief following Nawaz’s call. The decision to move the venue from Rawalpindi to AJK was finalised after the meeting and reportedly on the request of the PML-N, which is hosting the February 5 political gathering. Earlier this month, the Maulana had announced that the PDM would hold a Kashmir Day rally at Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh to “show solidarity with the Kashmiri people”. While the stated intention of the rally seemed benign, the announcement was seen as a thinly-veiled power move as it came despite the military saying it saw ‘no reason’ for the opposition alliance to march towards Rawalpindi. JUI-F Rawalpindi chapter spokesperson Ziaullah Khan said that the venue of rally was changed on the request of PML-N. He said the decision was also taken as Feb 5 marks the Kashmir solidarity day which is observed every year in Pakistan to show support for the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The spokesperson said PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also spoke with AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and informed him that PDM leaders would hold the rally in Muzaffarabad in support of Kashmiris. Other public rallies the PDM president announced would be held in Hyderabad on February 9, in Sialkot on February 13, in Pishin, Balochistan, on February 16, in Sargodha on February 23 and in Khuzdar on February 27. Some analysts believe that differences in the 11-party opposition alliance are widening with the major parties taking unilateral decisions rather than following the roadmap they have been announcing earlier to oust the PTI led federal government. PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had on Sunday rejected such speculations despite the fact that PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday openly disagreed with the proposal of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to move a no-confidence motion against the incumbent government.