Observer Report Islamabad
The big three of the Pakistan Democratic Movement established contact on Saturday and vowed to get to the bottom of the defeat of the alliance’s joint candidate, Yousaf Raza Gilani, in the election for the Senate chairman.
Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman pondered over the setback in the Senate elections during the telephonic conversation.
Victory for both the government-backed candidates on the top Senate slots is considered a major shock for the anti-government 11-party alliance, which had stunned the government when it won the federal capital’s seat in the Senate elections on March 3.
The victory had forced Prime Minister Imran Khan to take a vote of confidence from the National Assembly; which he did and started his second political innings at the midway of the constitutional term of five years.
The JUI-F amir, during the telephonic interaction discussed the opposition’s upcoming long march on Islamabad to topple the government of Prime Minister Imran.
The trio also agreed to approach relevant forums to challenge the elections of the upper house of the parliament.
Zardari assured the other two of strict action against PPP senators if they were found involved in deliberately wasting their votes.
According to sources privy to the development, Sharif reiterated during the discussion that the establishment was behind the crisis and suggested to
check telephone data of senators who received anonymous calls from unknown numbers and of those who had met with any government personality or its candidate.
The PDM bigwigs agreed to launch an investigation against those opposition senators who have close links with re-elected chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
The matter would be discussed in detail in the alliance’s upcoming huddle scheduled for Monday, according to sources.
The meeting, chaired by Maulana Fazl, would be attended by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, among all major leaders of the alliance. Zardari and Sharif would address the huddle via video-link.
Maulana Fazl was surprised that votes rejected during the election for the Senate chairman were later polled in favour of the government-backed candidate in the election for the deputy chairman.
Contesting elections will not solve problems under these circumstances, he was quoted as saying.
“An impression is being created among people that we are not fighting for their rights,” he added.
The PDM head however claimed that yesterday’s election result would not impact the anti-government movement. “We should go to the people for solution of their issues,” he added.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz has met his father and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.
Political situation emerging following the Senate elections was discussed in the meeting.
With the opposition announcing that they would challenge the results and the government claiming a moral victory against the PDM, political temperature is expected to remain high in the coming days as the opposition alliance has already announced March 26 as the date for starting a long march against the government.