PML-N begins hunt for shaky Senators

Published May 31, 2013
Two senators have taken the task of forming a forward bloc in the Senate to work closely with the PML-N govt. -File Photo
Two senators have taken the task of forming a forward bloc in the Senate to work closely with the PML-N govt. -File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A filthy rich political family is luring several Senators to form a like-minded group to make life easier for the upcoming government in the upper house of Parliament.

Senators Waqar Ahmed Khan and Senator Adnan have taken the task of cobbling ‘like-minded’ senators together to work closely with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.

Political sources told Dawn.com that both senators discussed the idea of forming a forward bloc with close aide of Prime Minister in-waiting Mian Nawaz Sharif. What objectives the duo would meet is still to be seen.

Sources said Senator Waqar lately developed grudges with President Asif Ali Zardari, but preferred to keep his Senate seat that he had won from the platform of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

However, it was often reported that Senator Waqar and his father Senator Gulzar spend generously to secure Senate seats for the family.

“Yes, I was invited by Senator Gulzar to discuss various options. He wanted to know what I was planning after the defeat of the PPP. I told him categorically that I am not the one who leaves a party in difficult times,” Senator Osman Saifullah Khan told Dawn.com.

A few days ago Senator Waqar hosted dinner at his residence inviting Senators Abbas Afridi, Hummayun Mandokhel, Sardar Ali Khan, Saifullah Magsi, Saifullah Bangash and Babar Awan.

At the dinner the possibility of cooperating with the upcoming government was discussed. They were mindful of the fact that after the 18th constitutional amendment they could not switch loyalty, because if they do they would be de-seated under the Constitution.

Later, Senator Adana invited the ‘like-minded’ colleagues over a sumptuous lunch at a local hotel.

“There would be more meetings in next few days. We are discussing various options. But I cannot share the details at the moment,” said the senator, who is also the son-in-law of newly elected KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.

The upcoming ruling party has also increased its interaction with the Senators. Ali Imran Yusuf, son-in-law of Shahbaz Sharif, held a meeting with Senator Saifullah Bangash, in Punjab House, on Friday.

Meanwhile, Senator Babar Awan also disassociated himself from any move to create a forward bloc in the Senate.

“In this time of crisis, I am the one who would stood by the party,” he stated.

Senator Rubina Khalid of the PPP deplored the efforts to create the forward bloc. She told Dawn.com that people who were elected on the PPP ticket should have a moral obligation to stay with the party.

“But I like to see such people exposed before everyone. President Zardari has full knowledge of what is cooking up there,” she announced.

Presently, the PPP has 41 Senators while the PML-N has only 14. However, this composition will drastically change in the upcoming Senate elections.

Given its numerical strength in Punjab, the PML-N is likely to become the largest party in the Senate, next year.

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