Horse trading or party disloyalties?

Ghulam Idris Khan

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered political parties to appeared before the it with proof of allegation made by leaders, that the recent elections of Senate were rigged. Election Commission of Pakistan  announced that it will probe those allegations. In this regards, notices were served to PTI chief Imran Khan and MQM leader Farooq Sattar. Some other lawmakers such as Maryam Aurangzeb and Ameer Muqam of PML-N ,Khawaja Izhar of MQM-P and Raza Haroon of PSP were also served notices. Former prime minister and present Quaid of PML-N said outside the accountability court that “This game of money should be buried.

This has happened in the past but this time, it is too open and brazen.” PTI chairman said members of Khyber Pakhtu-nkhwa Assembly undertook horse trading. Similar voice was heard from other groups who did not manage the result in their favor. It is a joyous moment for Pakistan’s democratic system, which is still fragile, that election of Senate was held on time, despite apprehension being expressed over the past one year that they will be postponed. The country is now marching towards general election of 2018.

As result coming out in the evening, media was flooded with the stories of “Horse Trading”. Sitting in big media houses in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, these media anchors become the mouth piece for losers. There was no evidence with them. They could only allege on the basis of candidates victory despite low numbers in the respective assemblies.

Lets discuss every assembly’s outcome. In some cases, PML-N and their allies outclassed PPP candidates. PPP candidates got more votes against their strength in the house. From the capital once again ever-green Mushahid Hussain Syed emerged victorious.

In Punjab, how is it possible that PTI secured 44 votes where their number is less than 30?  How come Ch. Sarwar win from there? More interestingly, PPP candidate Shahzad Ali Khan managed 28 votes where PPP hardly have 8 members in the house.

So here it is PML N members who voted for both Ch Sarwar and Shahzad Ali Khan. As reported in media, PML-N members rejected Zubir Gul who was handpicked by Nawaz Sharif for his services to the family in London. The rest was smooth sailing for PML-N in Punjab.

Although questions are raised over the tickets awarded to Ishaq Dar who has been declared absconder by the accountability court of Islamabad. Another one is Rana Maqbool, a notorious police officer, who as IG Sindh under PM Nawaz in 1990s, had tortured Asif Ali Zardari. Coming to Sindh province, PPP tickets holders included big, reputed and experienced names like Raza Rabbani, political worker like Maula Bux Chandio, a Hindu woman Krishna Kumari.

This credit must be given to PPP for awarding tickets to deserved and competent. Here PPP won more seat apparently because some members of Sindh Assembly who belonged to MQM also voted for PPP candidates.

MQM is in disarray. They are having three different panels – one lead by Farooq Sattar whose major candidate was Kamran Tessori; other group nominated Farook Nasim, who was lucky to have escaped from defeat, due to points basis, otherwise MQM would have been whipped out from the Senate race of 2018; other group of PSP voted for Functional League and voted for big landlords from Sanghar.

PPP as a political party has right to secure maximum advantage from the infighting of MQM. If someone is to be blamed here, it is MQM himself and no other party. Now it is up to the Farooq Sattar to submit proof to the ECP about horse trading.

The most interesting picture is that of KP Assembly. It has to re-evaluate its position; members of PTI turned against their leadership as the chief minister was satisfied from the outcome of the polling. CM Pervaz Khattak on the one hand show the door to Maulana Samiul Haq, and on the other hand took revenge from Khalil Zaman, a sitting PTI MNA from Hangu, who is member of Dawar Kundi club, who oppose CM on all forums.

He also make ita proof to Aftab Sherpao that now he is on driving seat, making it possible to defeat Anisa Zaib of QWP, once cabinet member of Khattak cabinet. Secular ANP making alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami paved way for JI victory. PML -N was able to elect two senators with the courtesy of Governor House and assistance from CM house. But here the fortune smiled on Dilwar Khan, once a low grade employee of custom department, now an industrialist. The media focus on PPP in KP, that why with thin number of 7, PPP was able to got 2 senators.

Here credit must be given to the leadership of PPP to award ticket to diehard worker like Baharamand Khan Tangi, who is the brother of Bashir Khan Tangi, who was martyred with Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. Media across the country has appreciated this act of the party.

The role of provincial leadership is to be noted too; a core team working under the command of Hamayun Khan, President PPP KP was instrumental which surprised the media pundits. JUI-F has lost their provincial Amir Maulana Gul Nasib Khan a real political worker. This is big upset. In Balochistan the group of Chief Minister Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo emerged victorious. Rest was shared among the nationalist parties and JUI-F. FATA repeated the same old stories of cores rupee for single vote, but these are all gossips in federal capital.

It appears that almost all members of provincial assemblies followed the parties line and voted for party nominee; however in some cases, the winner is with the support of other party. Here questions are raised. Was there horse trading and vote sale purchase or are members not satisfied with the performance of their respective government, as the general election is knocking the doors?

Horses are looking for new fresh green pasture which is not available to them in the old house. This may also be one of the reasons.

The law requires that MNA, MPA vote in Senate election through secret ballot; that is why voting against party line is not considered defection and hence not a ground for disqualification.

Senate election is over now. Pakistan is marching towards second transition from one elected govt to the other and to start work for upcoming election of 2018. Democracy is deepening its roots. Political leaders of all the parties within parliament or outside strengthen the arms of democracy.


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