Nawaz Sharif's PML-N has attained a majority in Pakistan's National Assembly after 18 independent candidates joined the party, placing it in a position to form government at the centre without striking an alliance with any other party.
Several independent candidates belonging to influential political families of Punjab and Sindh provinces are among those who have joined the PML-N, which emerged the single largest party in the polls.
They include the Legharis of Dera Ghazi Khan, the family of former President Farooq Leghari, and the Sherazi brothers of Thatha district of Sindh.
Earlier, the Legharis were with the PML-Q and the PTI while the Sharazis were with the Pakistan People's Party.
The Hiraj family of Punjab's Khanewal district has also joined the PML-N after ditching the PML-Q.