Friday July 12, 2024

Senate elections: Imran’s premiership will end once Gilani wins, says Zardari

By Zia Ur Rehman
February 22, 2021

KARACHI: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has said that Imran Khan will no longer remain the prime minister after Yusuf Raza Gilani’s success as the Senate chairman.

The former prime minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, called on Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday to discuss the overall political situation of the country and the upcoming Senate elections.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other party leaders were also present in the meeting. Zardari briefed the participants of the meeting about his contacts with Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Zardari said that it is time for the selected to be worried. The PDM will surprise the government in the Senate elections, he said. Zardari further said, “I induced the PDM to contest the by-polls unanimously and the result is overwhelming for us. Result of Senate polls will be even worse for the PTI government.”

In a bid to win the maximum seats in the upcoming Senate polls in Sindh and ensure the winning of its candidate from Islamabad, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday sent a high-powered delegation to meet with leaders of its allies i.e. the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).

Leaders of the three political parties, which are also coalition partners in the federal government and part of the combined opposition in the Sindh Assembly, on Sunday agreed to jointly take part in the March 3 Senate elections and mulled several strategies for the distribution of tickets for five seats of the Upper House of Parliament, including three general, and one each reserved for technocrats and women.

They also discussed the steps to curb horse trading in the Senate polls. The PTI delegation comprised three federal ministers Asad Umar, Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Muhammad Mian Soomro and former opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi.

Shaikh is a PTI candidate for the Senate polls from Islamabad. At noon, the PTI delegation met the MQM-P leaders at the latter's office in Karachi’s Bahadurabad area where they deliberated upon the strategy for the upcoming Senate elections. MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Senior Deputy Convener Aamir Khan, senior leader Faisal Sabzwari, Federal Minister Syed Aminul Haque, former mayor Waseem Akhtar and others represented their party in the meeting.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Asad Umar said the PTI leaders discussed key issues with the MQM-P. “Election doesn’t only occur between two candidates but their parties also get involved in it,” he said. Asad Umar said the PTI was making efforts that the Senate elections were held in a transparent manner as they were answerable to their voters.

Later, the PTI delegation visited the Raja House to meet GDA chief Pir Pagara, where the leaders of the two parties agreed to jointly participate in the Senate polls.

Syed Sadaruddin Rashidi, former chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Dr Safdar Abbasi, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, Arif Mustafa Jatoi, Irfanullah Marwat, Sardar Abdul Raheem, and other leaders represented the GDA in the meeting.

Sheikh said that political parties should take part in the Senate polls in a transparent environment that would not damage the country’s image globally. Earlier, Federal ministers Asad Umar, Hafeez Shaikh and Muhammad Mian Soomro called on Sindh Governor Imran Ismail at the Sindh Governor House. Separately, the PTI delegation also met the party’s MPAs from Sindh at the Governor's House and discussed the upcoming Senate polls.