Islamabad 03 March 2018 (Daily The Nation)
Eleven of the 23 independent candidates backed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been elected to the seats in Punjab.
The elction began at 0900 AM across the four provincial assemblies and National Assembly.
Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq cast the first vote followed by Minister for Defense Production Rana Tanveer and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad.
Other prominent members who have so far cast their vote, PM Khaqqan Abbasi, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Pirzada, and Minister of State for Finance Rana Afzal Khan and CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, CM Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, CM Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and CM KP Pervaiz Khattak.
PM Khaqqan Abbasi:
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday rejected allegations of opposition parties about horse trading in Senate elections.
State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurrangzeb while speaking to media said, “People always welcome ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif wherever he goes. An elected PM was removed on the basis of Iqama. No evidence was found against Nawaz Sharif. He can be removed from the seat but not from his voters hearts.”
Marriyum further predicted that PML-N will emerge as winner in today’s polls.
She strongly criticized Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf’s chairman Imran Khan by saying that he is accusing his own party members of corruption.
Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan:
MNA Ch Nisar cast his vote in the NA.
Speaking to media he said, “If Horse-Trading is taking place then the authorities should take action against it.”
He further said “I have never been at the back foot. I’ve not attended any of the party meetings since the past 4 years due to issues in the party.”
Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah:
Opposition Leader of Pakistan Peoples Party Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah has cast his vote.
Speaking to media he said, “All speculations against the government not completing its tenure have failed, today democracy has become stronger. It’s sad that many political friends will not be there in the future but politics cannot stop.”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari:
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a tweet congratulated the democrats. He also said that ongoing Senate elections are a step forward for Pakistan’s ‘young democracy’. Regarding Nawaz Sharif he said, “Public is least concerned why Nawaz Sharif was ousted as they want an end to poverty and terrorism.”
He also said that PPP would succeed in the upcoming general elections.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi:
MNA and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf’s leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the media said that “We know Horse-Trading is taking place and PTI is against it.” He also said that Imran Khan won’t be casting his vote due to someother commitment.
Talking to media persons in Islamabad today, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Senate elections is yet another milestone in the democratic process.
He said conspiracy theories of failed politicians about Senate elections have vanished.
He regretted that decisions are being given against one man and target killing of one party is continuing. Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified but PML-N could not be disqualified, he added.
He furhter said that PML-N has no program to go for any clash. It does not want confrontation among national institutions.
He underlined that decisions made by Pervez Musharraf are protected and on the other hand we are facing humiliation all over the world due to decisions against Nawaz Sharif.
Pir Muhammad Amin Ul Hasnat Shah:
Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Pir Muhammad Amin Ul Hasnat Shah said polling for Senate is underway in a peaceful environment and whatever the decision is it will be accepted.
Siraj Ul Haq:
Ameer of Jamat –e-Islami Siraj ul Haq while speaking to media he said that elections in Pakistan had become a game of money, whether it is general elections or today’s Senate elections . You can see that only people with money are in the run because they can buy their nominations.
He was of the opinion that in the case of FATA it was nothing but money game, which does not let the true representatives of the people come to the Assemblies. To a question about how to stop this practice, he said that it is always the supervisors who ensure fair or unfair practice in the examination hall. You can equate elections to examinations so from the regulator to the supervisor (that is election commission and its staff) should devise means to prevent such practices in Pakistan.
Answering another question he said Ch Sarwar of PTI had approached JI asking for support in the Senate elections and the Jamaat had agreed to it.
He hoped the Senate elections will bring about some form of stability and help the democratic rule in Pakistan.
Farooq Sattar of MQM PIB’s has said that MQM was passing through trial time for some time however we were in contact With Bahadur-Abad group and we have reached an agreement on one point agenda. We will sort out other issues likewise in near future.
He further said that we have not just agreed on seat adjustment in Senate elections but also made agreements on various other issues as well.
Farooq Sattar has strongly rejected the impression about him of being a biased, egomaniac sort of person. He clarified that I being a party head deserve to be honored and respected by the party members.
He insisted that a line must be drawn between a powerful and a powerless party head. Our members belong to middle class faction of the society and the shine of money can never blind them. Allah knows what is hidden in the core of people’s hearts and soul.
Ejaz Ul Haq:
Pakistan Muslim League-Zia Chief Ijaz-ul-Haq said Senate elections is a giant step towards strengthening of democracy.