Curse of horse-trading


DESPITE intensive nation-wide debate, intervention of the courts and tall claims of the political leadership, the curse of horse-trading is going nowhere and the problem has been highlighted once again in the backdrop of the election of the office of the Chief Minister of Punjab.

The two sides are accusing each other of their involvement in the sale and purchase of loyalties but there is general impression on the basis of reliable media reports and audio leaks that none of them was innocent and they are doing their utmost to influence the outcome of the election through unfair means.

It was widely believed that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Article-63-A of the Constitution would help eliminate the abhorring practice but it seems new ways and means have been found to influence the voting.

Members of the opposing side are encouraged to tender resignation in return for hefty payments, remain absent from the relevant session or proceed abroad for a visit or perform Umrah.

There is no doubt that the PTI Chairman has long been emphasizing the need for effective legislation and a foolproof mechanism to discourage the politics of turncoats.

He made strong appeals for the purpose during his rule and on Wednesday again he issued a strong statement through twitter.

His party is not only approaching the Supreme Court for the purpose but Imran also made a call to send Asif Zardari, Rana Sanaullah and Atta Tarar to jail for indulging in illegal and unconstitutional act of buying loyalties of the Punjab MPAs.

However, Atta Tarar vehemently denied the allegations and instead accused PTI of offering bribes to the MPAs of PML(N).

It is, however, quite obvious that remarks of the leaders against the menace of horse-trading are nothing but lip-service to the cause of transparency as everyone knows what happened in Punjab, Balochistan and at the time of election for the office of Chairman Senate during tenure of PTI.

An audio report is also in circulation in which Sheikh Rashid is talking about payment to PML(N) MPA Sharqpuri for tendering resignation ahead of election of the CM.

Similarly, PTI is accusing that its two MPAs who proceeded for Turkey and Saudi Arabia did so after receiving money from the other side.

Under these circumstances, intervention by the judiciary notwithstanding, the problem would remain there until and unless political parties themselves sit together and agree to place effective checks against purchase and sale of loyalties.

The practice brings bad name to democracy and therefore, it has to be eliminated through collective efforts.



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