PESHAWAR: Opposition lawmakers on Friday assailed Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq over his alleged statement that legislators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are on sale like “sheep and goats” in the run up to the Senate election.
The outraged legislators condemned him in his presence in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and warned they would not tolerate their insult. Sirajul Haq is member of the provincial assembly but he attends its sessions once in a blue moon.
They alleged that the JI chief and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) head Imran Khan had vilified them without any proof. “Imran Khan said the price of a lawmaker has gone up to Rs25 million,” said Nighat Orakzai, a female lawmaker of the Pakistan People’s Party. “And now Sirajul Haq said MPAs are on sale like sheep and goats,” she added, as the JI chief attentively looked towards her.
The PPP lawmaker said the copies of the agenda should be lifted from their desks if they were thought like “sheep and goats.” “Sheep and goats don’t need agenda,” she added angrily.The Senate election is slated for March 5 in which the 124-member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will elect 12 senators through secret ballot. Political parties, particularly the ruling PTI and JI, are concerned that the loyalties of their MPAs are being bought.
Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha also took strong exception to Imran Khan and Sirajul Haq’s statements about the feared horse-trading. He said their statements were irresponsible.
Sirajul Haq took the floor to respond to criticism against him but he appeared to be on the defensive, if not completely backtracking from his statement. “The conscience of members of this House is firmer than Himalaya and no temptation can buy it. Even Himalaya can budge, but not members of this assembly,” he said in an effort to calm down the agitated lawmakers. The JI chief came up with an explanation. “I said those who are thinking of buying MPAs are
greatly mistaken. Your honour is my honour. You are poor but not saleable,” he said. The JI chief is running for the Senate seat but his JI lacks the required number of votes for electing a senator.