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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM's) senior leadership including former premier and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have decided to investigate the circumstances under which its joint candidate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani lost the election of chairman Senate.

In a telephonic conversation, the trio also decided to convene the leadership level meeting of the PDM on March 16 (Tuesday) to hold consultations with regard to the March 12 chairman and deputy chairman Senate elections, the strategy for March 26 'long-march' as part of the opposition alliance's anti-government movement.

During a telephonic conversations, the sources said that three leaders agreed to hold an internal probe into the circumstances that led to the defeat of PDM's candidates in the elections despite majority in Upper House of Parliament. The PDM will also hold an inquiry against the "suspected" senators, whose names are yet to be made public.

In the elections for chairman and deputy chairman Senate on March 12, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sadiq Sanjrani defeated PDM's joint candidate with 6 votes - 48 (Sanjrani) and 42 Gilani - while on the slot of deputy chairman, the government's candidate Mirza Afridi defeated the opposition's Abdul Ghafoor Haideri by securing 54 votes against latter's 44.

The sources further said it was agreed that all the parties in the coalition would submit their reports in the meeting on March 16 about the findings of the probe and the reasons behind the PDM's defeat as well as the future strategy about the option to challenge the rejection of seven votes of Gilani in the court of law.

They further said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is also president of PDM, reportedly conveyed his reservations to PML-N supremeo Nawaz Sharif and PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari about opposition's seven votes that have been polled to the government's candidate Mizra Afridi who was contesting again the JUI-F's Abdul Ghafoor Haideri.

The maulana insisted that a probe should also be held to reveal the names of those senators who cast their votes in favour of the government's candidate.

Sources said that the meeting, which would also be attended by Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari via video links, would hold consultations on the PDM's future strategy as part of its anti-government movement.

The PDM has announced a long-march on March 26, with rallies joining it towards Islamabad and, as per schedule, would reach Faizabad interchange - the crossing point between Islamabad and Rawalpindi - on March 30.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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