- Parliamentary leaders meeting fails to strike consensus on 22nd Amendment to curb horse-trading in Senate polls through introducing open ballot
- PPP, JUI-F put in their note of dissent, PTI, MQM, JI, ANP, FATA support govt
- Parliamentary leaders will meet again today to discuss the matter
Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian’s General Secretary Raja Pervez Ashraf thanked the PM for calling a meeting to put an end to horse trading. He expressed these views while talking to the media after the meeting. He said that the political parties of the country want the elimination of horse trading but it is not the right time for another Amendment. He said that PPP would only approve of those Amendment upon which rest of the parties have no reservations.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting with PM Sharif, former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf said that his party leadership believes that the government should take all the political leadership on board before any constitutional amendment.
“We are against any kind of rigging and horse-trading in the elections, but it is important for the government to build a consensus before introducing any such amendment in Parliament,” Ashraf said, adding that PPP demands electoral reforms for transparent elections in future.
Thanking the prime minister for calling a meeting to put an end to horse trading, Ashraf said that the political parties of the country want the elimination of horse-trading but it is “not the right time” for another amendment. He said that PPP would only approve of those amendments upon which rest of the parties have no reservations. He urged the government to formulate a solid and reliable policy for holding unbiased elections.
Moreover, a source quoted PPP leader Khurshid Shah as telling the political leadership that the PPP was a party which had given the country a consensus-based Constitution. He added that the PPP had taken along all political forces to revive 1973 Constitution in its original form and it would discourage any bid to bring in amendments which are against the spirit of the Constitution.
Shah said that his party shared the concerns on horse-trading and would also support procedural changes to check vote fraud but constitutional amendments may have “far reaching impacts”.
According to the news report, The Pakistan People’s Party has communicated to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that if his government reaches a political consensus on the constitutional amendment and convinces the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to return to the National Assembly to vote on the amendment, the PPP will also consider it.
According to sources, the PPP had conveyed to the government that it will be double standards of the PTI if they did not vote despite agreeing on the constitutional amendment for eliminating the horse-trading.
“First create a political consensus of all the (political) parties and bring those back to Parliament to vote for the constitutional amendment,” the party sources said.
They said at the time of the 21st constitutional amendment, the PTI had agreed to the amendment but did not come for vote that created the doubts on the sincerity of the PTI.
“We did not want that someone uses our shoulders to fulfil its desire, and if any one is sincere against the horse-trading, should come back to parliament to play its due role,” a senior PPP leader said.