Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on Thursday demanded Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi retract his remarks regarding the election of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani or he and his allies would march towards Islamabad.
PM Abbasi, at recent gatherings in Nankana Sahib and Lahore, had expressed his concerns over the election of the Senate chairman and said there was a need to elect a consensus chairman of the upper house of parliament, as it reflected the federation.
While claiming that the PML-N had always defended democratic norms, the PM had leveled the allegations of horse-trading in the Senate elections, claiming that votes were “purchased”.
Bizenjo, who was flanked by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan at a joint press conference in Quetta on Thursay, demanded Abbasi take back his statement.
“How can he (Abbasi) make such a statement?” asked Bizenjo. “This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a legislator from Balochistan was appointed the Senate chairman. The position is of such importance that it wasn’t reasonable for the PM to say such a thing and in such a language.”
He warned Abbasi that if he did not take back his words, “we will march towards Islamabad”.
Imran, whose party had voted for Sadiq Sanjrani in the election for the office of Senate chairman, also criticised the PM for questioning the SC’s verdicts, saying: “I was already disappointed with PM Abbasi’s defending of Nawaz Sharif and then he criticises the Supreme Court. It has never happened that a PM criticises his own Supreme Court.
“I ask PM Abbasi if he doesn’t accept the SC’s verdict then why should the thousands of helpless people who are locked up in our jails accept the courts’ decisions.”
The PTI chairman also condemned the PM’s critical remarks on the Senate Chairman elections, saying: “He is unhappy with a democratically elected Senate chairman. How else can we satisfy him with Senate chairman elections. The 2013 elections when every party complained of manipulation… where was Khaqan Abbasi then? Why didn’t he ask for reelections then?
Imran counter alleged that it was Nawaz Sharif who pioneered horse-trading in Pakistan.
“He (Abbasi) said that money was used,” said Imran. “The first time money was used to buy elections was in Changa Manga. Politicians were locked up like cattle in the Changa Manga rest house. They were auctioned off. Then the same happened in Murree. Nawaz Sharif is the pioneer of horse-trading in Pakistan.
“And then when the PTI tried to change this using of money in the Election Commission, why didn’t you stand with us. Now that you’ve lost you remember all this.”
Imran claimed that PM Abbasi’s two-hour long rendezvous with Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday wasn’t about any legislation but about securing a National Reconciliation Order for Sharif.
“I have no doubt that the PM must have pleaded with the chief justice to save Nawaz Sharif and give him an NRO,” he said. “The only reason Nawaz Sharif brought this PM is to save the money that he stole from this nation and stashed it abroad.”
Imran ruled out any alliance with parties that have ‘corrupt’ heads but said that he remains open to teaming up with others, especially the likes of the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party, which boasts CM Bizenjo among its party members and has the backing of six independent senators, including Sanjrani.