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Pakistan Deaths
Pakistan Cases

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif on Friday said that the party would identify the senators who switched their loyalties during a vote on no-confidence motion against Senate chairman Sanjrani. Speaking at a press conference here, he said that 64 out of 100 Senators, asked for leave to move a resolution for deseating of Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjtani.
"But later, 14 Senators of the opposition voted against the resolution moved by their own parties and only 50 supported the move, which is unfortunate, so we've no option but identify and punish these black sheep," he declared. Chairing a meeting of the party senators earlier today, Sharif expressed his concern over Thursday's proceedings and vowed to find and take strict action against those who "undermined" democracy, sources quoted him as saying.
"Fourteen senators sold off their conscience and led to the failure of the motion. [These people] joined in with the government to [ruin] the sanctity of the Senate and their own dignity," Shehbaz lamented. He said that the opposition will come together to prepare an action plan over the issue, adding the curse of horse trading won and democracy got undermined again today.
"It is not just opposition's loss. We'll get down to the bottom of the matter and those who sold their conscience will be exposed," he added. Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that some people have turned democracy into a "marketplace". "100 people were present in the Senate session yesterday...when the stand up vote was taken for the resolution to be passed, the decision was made there and then," he continued. "If it is a question of one's conscience having awoken [in the secret ballot], it is strange that it was asleep until that point," said the PML-N senator.
Referring to Barrister Saif Ali's video circulating on social media, in which it was claimed by Bilawal that he can be heard saying "54 votes for this resolution" - for which Ali issued a clarification - Khan said that the matter is being investigated. He said that in the government's resolution against Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla - who had been fielded by the opposition for the post - there could only be 32 votes cast, but as it turned out, there were 34.
"Yesterday was a repeat of when the mandate was stolen in 2018," he said, before adding: "The question is, of how much benefit will this be to democracy?" "We are investigating how many billions of rupees were doled out." He went on to say that if an institution of the state is harming democracy, then the whole country suffers. "It was believed that it is only a human that is sold out [...] some people have turned the country's democracy into a marketplace. They harm the country and democracy for their own gains."
Khan also sought to "clarify that the party's own members involved in the debacle were minimal in number". Ahsan Iqbal said that August 1 will be remembered in history as a dark day for the country's democracy. "The degree of horse trading that took place in the Senate, is not even witnessed in the union council [elections]."
He claimed that 64 votes had gone into the black box, which then came out as 50. "The question is, who exerted such pressure that they turned into 50 votes." "If in the Upper House, 22 per cent members sell their souls out, there is no bigger disgrace than this," said Iqbal, adding, "It is suspected that anti-Pakistan foreign agencies had a hand in all this."
He said that no Pakistani institution would do such a thing and that no Pakistani can go against the constitutional oath. "We must investigate whether RAW was involved in this." Iqbal said that PML-N had taken notice of yesterday's deed and that investigations are underway. "I highly condemn the list that is being circulated on social media. It has no relation to the truth."
"What is true is that 14 senators played the role of Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafar," he said, referring to two entities who have become symbolic references whenever someone's treachery is being taken into account. He further said that the party had formed a committee under Senator Rana Maqbool "to probe this abominable deed". Iqbal said that the opposition will bring about legislation to amend the Senate election rules including "show of hands" and a decision in this regard will be made in the All-Parties Conference which was announced yesterday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019


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