QUETTA: Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has offered four seats to leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for unopposed election of its candidates in the Senate election from Balochistan.
Mr Sanjrani is nowadays in Quetta drumming up support for candidates of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party and its allies to ensure their success in the Senate election.
He held a meeting with JUI-F secretary general and some other opposition leaders on Monday and offered them four out of the 12 Senate seats from Balochistan.
The sources said that Mr Sanjrani told the opposition leaders that the government was ready to give two general seats and one seat reserved for a technocrat and one for a woman to the opposition parties.
PDM leaders Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Mehmood Khan Achakzai confirmed at a press conference that Mr Sanjrani had made such an offer, but said their alliance had rejected it. They said they were ready to hold further talks if the government agreed to give PDM 50 per cent of the Senate seats from Balochistan.
“If the government is ready to offer six out of 12 Senate seats then opposition is ready for unopposed election of candidates in Senate election from Balochistan,” the PDM leaders said.
They said that the PDM alliance could easily win five Senate seats in the election on March 3 and efforts were under way for winning more seats.
BNP-Mengal President Sardar Akhtar Mengal said that the PDM had asked the Senate chairman that he should reply to the opposition after discussing the matter with Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani.
“We have given the mandate to Maulana Haideri in this regard and Mr Sanjrani should inform him about the government’s response on the PDM’s demand,” Mr Mengal said.
He said the PDM was making good progress and it would not abandon its programme announced against the government in Islamabad.
“We are fielding joint candidates of the PDM and are hopeful of our success in the Senate election as in Balochistan lawmakers of other parties would cast their votes on the voice of their conscience,” Mr Mengal said.
Maulana Haideri said that PDM had contested the bye-election jointly and won the seats with a thumping majority and now “we are also contesting Senate elections jointly”. He said the PDM’s long march would be held according to the programme on March 26.
Mr Mehmood Khan Achakzai said the PDM had been formed for upholding the supremacy of parliament, constitution and democracy in the country. “We want the vote to be given respect,” he said.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021