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February 23, 2021

Claim of Gilani’s victory sans majority proof of horse-trading: Shibli

Top Story

February 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Monday said that as long as there was politics of money, neither democracy will be strong nor economy.

Addressing here at a news conference and earlier talking to journalists outside the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the minister wondered on what basis PPP would win the Senate elections despite having small number of legislators.

Shibli Faraz said that despite having no majority in the National Assembly, Asif Zardari's claim of victory of Yusuf Raza Gilani has proved the opposition's involvement in dirty politics of sale and purchase of loyalties and horse trading.

In a tweet, the minister said that the two political parties - the PPP and the PML- N were responsible for earning bad name for the politics and politicians.

Referring to the alleged harassment of PTI workers in Tharparkar and violence in Daska during NA-75 bye-election, the minister charged that the 'attitude of Sindh government was taking us towards the era of 70s, as leader of opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh was being punished for pointing out its incompetence'.

Shibli continued that PML-N had introduced the politics of violence from Model Town and Faisalabad but added the idea of bullying, power and greed must be eradicated, as the real fruits of democracy could only be realised through real representatives. “The government is taking practical steps to eradicate corruption in the Senate elections and it is not the PTI rather other parties have started politics of violence, whereas peaceful elections were held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The government is considering introducing electronic voting in the next general election,” he said. He said the attitude of Sindh government towards PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh and the party workers was reprehensible. He added Haleem was PTI’s fearless member of Sindh Assembly, Leader of Opposition and Imran Khan's soldier; his farmhouse was demolished despite the restraining order on the indication of incompetence and corruption of Sindh government.

The minister noted that he was attacked and tortured while the Sindh government misused the powers of the police as well. He also pointed out that PPP used government machinery relentlessly in Tharparkar election. “Despite being in government for decades, the plight of the people of Sindh is a living proof. The condition of hospitals is very bad. Even the lives and property of the people are not safe,” he alleged.

“We will raise this issue on every platform, including the assembly. There is absolutely no legal or moral justification for the violent treatment meted out to Haleem Adil Sheikh. The people of Sindh, especially in the rural areas of Sindh, are living a life of slavery, they did not get the fruits of democracy nor did they benefit from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's slogan of bread, cloth and shelter,” he claimed.

Citing the Senate polls, the minister asserted that money politics was taking place in the Senate elections on one side and the opposition had thrown away the Charter of Democracy signed by Benazir Bhutto on the other. To the contrary, he noted that Imran Khan had always said that democracy and economy could not be strengthened in this country unless the politics of money, conscience of the people and the buying and selling of votes were done away with.

Shibli emphasized, “If we want to see the real fruits of democracy, we have to make things transparent, we have to discourage those who fight elections on the strength of money. People all over the country know that there is buying and selling in Senate elections, PTI is the only party, which expelled its own MPAs from the party in 2018 elections, who sold their votes”.

He strongly believed that it were the party leaders, who could change the political culture of this country by following the moral justification and foundation on which we stand.

Asked about the detained legislators, the minister said that the Chairman Senate and the Speaker National Assembly would review and decide on the legal aspects in this regard. Replying to another question, the minister said that the Election Commission of Pakistan would listen to both the parties regarding the Daska bye-election and whatever decision would be taken, the government would accept it.

He asserted that no law could function without morality; theft could not be called a constitutional right while referring to the opposition parties.

The minister wondered on what basis was PPP claiming victory of Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Senate polls from the federal capital. He made it clear that if money was used for election of public representatives, it would be then an abuse to the coming generations. “PML-N and PPP want to contest elections on the strength of money. Vote buying destroyed Pakistan's politics, PTI will end this culture, transparent elections will be ensured,” he maintained. “We are trying to eradicate corruption from the society, whereas is PPP is working against the ideology of Bhutto and Benazir while in the case of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan has got a leader who laid the foundation of clean politics,” he noted.

Contrary to this, he pointed out PPP leader Raza Rabbani took a stand against Benazir Bhutto's Charter of Democracy and rejected the Charter of Democracy and advocated secret vote in the Senate polls before the apex court. He again emphasized that PPP did not have the required number to win its candidate, on what basis they were claiming victory of Yusuf Raza Gilani.

He explained that the two major opposition parties had backtracked on their own agreement regarding transparency in the Senate polls. Replying to a question, the minister contended that the parties, which had won the recent by-elections, had been earlier won by the same parties.