KARACHI: The like-minded faction of the Pakistan Muslim League has demanded of President Asif Ali Zardari to reconsider his earlier commitment on seat adjustment formula and provide one Senate seat to its candidate in Sindh.
While addressing a joint press conference at Karachi Press Club on Monday, Senator Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi along with other leaders of the group said that some senior office bearers of Pakistan Peoples Party were creating hurdles and wanted to sabotage the reconciliation policy.
“PPP has betrayed us. We will contest the election and will not let the ruling party get its candidates elected unopposed in Sindh,” he said.
He further said a deal was struck between PPP and PML-L during the Senate election in 2009. The PML-L had supported PPP senators after the PPP committed to provide a Senate ticket to PML-L candidates. “All PPP senators were elected unopposed because of our support,” he said.
Responding to a question, Qureshi said it was also decided between both the parties that the process of consultation would be started before the Senate election, but it did not happen.
Qureshi further said that due to worsening law and order situation, the party members had asked Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim to stay abroad. “If MQM leader Altaf Hussain can live abroad on the advice of their party members then what is wrong with Dr Arbab,” he added.
He said that it was their constitutional right to get apposition seat allotted to Likeminded group in the Sindh Assembly. He said that there were only five opposition members in the assembly and they all belonged to their party.
“Today we have once again applied and nominated Dr Rahim as opposition leader in Sindh Assembly. I hope Speaker Khuhro will take a decision on it,” he said.
Razzaque Rahimoon said that after the 20th Amendment the role of opposition leader has become important, but government was avoiding giving this slot to Dr Rahim. “Government has to provide security and other benefits to opposition leader, but even after reconciliation policy, PPP leaders consider Arbab Rahim as their rival by opposing his appointment for the slot,” he said, adding that their Senate candidates on general, minority and women seats have support of other parties and would contest the election.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2012.