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Former law minister Babar Awan. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Former Law Minister Senator Dr Babar Awan on Monday said that the Punjab government hatched a conspiracy to break the electoral college for Senate through its 'adopted children' (turn-coats) He alleged that Sharif Brothers were the master-mind of this plan as they were afraid of their defeat in Senate elections scheduled for March 2012.

Addressing a press conference at the People's Secretariat here, Babar Awan said, “after the martial law of General Zia who dissolved the Senate, this is a very serious attack on the country's democratic process”.

He said that this was the first time in the history of country when unfortunately a democratically elected representative demanded to dissolve a constitutional institution which was a symbol of Federation. This is the only unit in which representatives are elected on the equality basis from all provinces of the country, he added.

“If this assertion is false, the Punjab government should shun the turn-coats and a reference under article 6 of the constitution should be moved by the speaker of Punjab Assembly against the person who floated this idea,” Babar said, adding that this idea was an attack on smaller provincial units.

He said that the senators of Pakistan People's Party led by Senator Sabir Baloch would submit a privilege motion in the Senate on Tuesday.

“Moreover, Raja Riaz along with 150 opposition members, will also submit a privilege motion in the Punjab Assembly,” he said.

Babar also accused the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for hoodwinking the nomination of Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari as Chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), saying that the PML-N leaders had objected to Bukhari who was known as “Mr Clean”.

“Fasih Bukhari is a person who had resigned in protest to the 'out of turn promotion' of General (Pervez) Musharraf as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) by Mian Nawaz Sharif as he (Bukhari) was the then most senior officer”, he added.

He said the PML-N leaders would oppose anyone whosoever was being nominated by the PPP government because they only wanted Saifur Rehman for this slot.

“Nawaz Sharif should not wait for Saifur Rehman's return as he is a fugitive and will never return,” Babar said and added that he should be happy with Fasih Bukhari now as NAB chief.

Asked whether the President was bound under the constitution to appoint any person who is vetted by the leader of the opposition, Awan said there was a word 'consultation' which did not mean concurrence or dictation. He said the word consultation meant discussion and not dictation.

Answering about the accusations of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Babar Awan said that the person who had no connection with the party could say anything in his personal capacity.