LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) believes that the participation of Balo­ch­istan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and members of his cabinet in a reception organised by Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari proves that they were right in claiming that the PPP leader was behind the ‘coup’ against Sanaullah Zehri’s government.

“Mr Zardari’s dinner for Balochistan CM Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and his cabinet depicts that the PPP has become a partner in the ‘joint venture’ [to oust the PML-N majority government] to secure a few seats in the Senate,” Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Friday.

Pointing out that the PPP did not have any representatives in the Balochistan Assembly, the minister said in a series of tweets that Mr Zardari’s political secretary Qayyum Soomro was smack in the middle of the “ugly” business of installing a puppet government in the restive province.

Mr Bizenjo had replaced PML-N-backed former chief minister Sanaullah Zehri, who resigned earlier this month to avert a no-trust move against him. The no-confidence motion had the support of a majority of the ruling party MPAs.

The new Balochistan CM told journalists in Karachi that the PML-N MPAs had rebelled against their leadership because it had ignored the plight of the poor people of the province.

Mr Rafique, however, alleged that Mr Zardari had made an abortive attempt of horse-trading during the previous Senate polls as well.

He cautioned the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leadership in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to be on alert as the PPP leader might even try to make inroads in their ranks to win a few Senate seats from there.

The minister alleged that the PPP wanted to install one of Mr Zardari’s sisters as chairperson of the Senate, and added that he would not allow the former head of state “to play the heinous game of horse trading of MPs” in the name of democracy.

“The PML-N and other democratic forces will check the horse trading of elected members,” the minister said, lamenting that the “corrupt” thinking of Mr Zardari had made a mockery of the Charter of Democracy.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2018