Senate elections: Zardari's overtures in Balochistan amount to horse-trading

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique accused Asif Ali Zardari of involved in horse-trading in Balochistan, vowing not to allow the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman to continue the “shameful act under the garb of democracy”.

Rafique, one of the senior leaders of the ruling PML-N, termed the PPP stalwart’s meeting with what he described as the “puppet Balochistan’s chief minister” as beginning of the horse-trading ahead of the Senate elections, due this year.

Referring to the recent ‘in-house’ removal of PML-N’s Balochistan CM Sanaullah Zehri, Rafique said that the change in the province was in fact “horse-trading in the name of democracy”.

Zardari had supported the anti-democratic ideology just to gain Senate seats in Balochistan, he added.

The minister alleged that Zardari wants to get his sister appointed as the Senate chief to remain in power. The PPP leader has been conspiring to buy members of all the parties just to have a control over the Senate, he also said.

Rafique vowed that the PML-N and other democratic parties would stop horse-trading in the country. He warned the Imra Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that their members were also on target list of horse-trading.  The PPP has no seat in the Balochistan Assembly.

He also alleged that Qayyum Soomro had been a part of the conspiracy to form the “puppet government”.

Zardari woos Baloch leaders for senate support

Rafique added that Zardari had also made efforts to buy members in the previous Senate elections but could not get much success.

On Thursday, top PPP leaders met newly-elected Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo at the CM House in Karachi to discuss the upcoming Senate elections.

Though it was a reception hosted by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in honour of his counterpart and his cabinet members, almost all PPP lawmakers attended the event and turned it into a strategy meeting for the upcoming Senate elections.

Photos issued by chief minister house clearly showed Zardari chairing a meeting in the presence of both chief ministers.

Sources privy to development told The Express Tribune that the Senate elections were discussed and Bizenjo had assured that his members in the provincial assembly will support PPP candidates in the election.

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