PRIME Minister Gilani has said that [the PPP] would prefer to sit on the opposition benches rather than indulge in horse-trading. He said many members had contacted him … but “we want to bury this practice forever and are ready to take difficult decisions”. Horse-trading is a black chapter in our political history…. [It is] a fruit given to us by military dictatorships. Under Ayub Khan’s Basic Democracies when Fatima Jinnah’s defeat and Ayub’s victory were announced, it met with intense public reaction. But the war of September 1965, forced the popular tide to subsidise. …In Zia’s period horse-trading was promoted in such a fashion that it surpassed [the practice] during the previous civil and military periods. During this period parliamentarians were heavily bribed under the head of ‘development funds’.
…The evil shadow is still poisoning our life. Horse-trading is once more gaining currency after the PML-N parted ways with the PPP in Punjab. …[T]he declaration of Gilani with reference to rejecting horse-trading is a breath of fresh air.… If Gilani and other politicians are able to really reject this form of trading, the Changa Maanga style of politics will come to an end…. — (March 3)
Selected and translated by S.T. Mirza