War of Senate supremacy

The politics of Pakistan have always been very unpredictable. They lean more towards realpolitik and heavy political investments that in real terms are money making ventures. This year too the ‘politics bazaar’ is buzzing with excitement.

Whenever Senate mid-term elections are near the rates of votes going into millions are quoted in mainstream media and social media. Figures of billions are quoted as if the amount means petty. Is it all myth or reality? Analysts say it happened in 2015. Allegedly Asif Ali Zardari of PPP fame has started horse trading business by first dividing the ruling PML-N in Balochistan. He did not do it secretly but openly claimed of having brought down the Balochistan government while threatening to do that again elsewhere. He tried to embarrass the PML-N who at first had no clue as to what was happening in Balochistan political landscape. It is talk of the town that AAZ has invested enormous amount of funds to gain support of legislators of Balochistan. Sindh’s top politician was able to make sure that the legislators betrayed their parent party. Interestingly AAZ’s party had no legislator in Balochistan.

Same is being said about FATA whose legislators allegedly are open to cooperate with the person who pays the highest price. It is worth mentioning here that Senator Gulzar and his son allegedly got elected to Senate by making huge investments.

Some people say Punjab is a different ball game. Here the PML-N holds majority seats and has the clout to influence all voters. The other day Senate election was held on one seat. PTI candidate Dr Zarqa Taimoor lost as she managed to bag only 38 votes. The PML-N-backed candidate got 298 votes. It all remains to be seen whether other opposition parties help PTI to get elected Ch Muhammad Sarwar on general seat. This is PTI’s main target and challenge to PML-N.

The next bout will be to elect the chairman of Senate. AAZ seeks fourth chairman from his party. Before Raza Rabbani the PPP’s Nayyar Bukhari and Farooq Naek remained chairman of Senate. AAZ must be making all out efforts to get the slot of chairman for his party to ensure political influence before going for the general election.

With the spirit of democracy will the next chairman be elected through genuine votes or by making investments in each vote? This is a million dollar question that the whole nation is seeking answer for from the politicians.

In the end it is suggested that the working of all the senators who are indirectly elected be made public. I have never heard any of the minority members elected from the four provinces making headlines for their legislative efforts or raising issues. If their performance is satisfactory that means minorities are all affluent and facing no issue. I believe the same goes for other senators elected on general or special seats. Let us hope the new senators live up to the expectations of Pakistanis especially the youth who are disappointed with the realpolitik actions happening in the country.


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