Forget horse-trading, ministers are accusing each other of stooping so low that accusations of “donkey-trading” are making the rounds. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf accused the chief minister of being involved in the worst kind of horse-trading in a bid to form tehsil and district governments in the province.
Speaking at an Iftar dinner at the residence of Haji Barkat in Garhi Habibullah on Sunday, he accused the chief minister of directly offering money not only to independent councillors, but also to those already allied with political parties. Also present at the dinner were MPAs Sardar Zahoor and Mian Ziaur Rehman.
The federal minister also discussed a development package for Mansehra, saying the prime minister would address a public meeting in the area after Eidul Fitr and announce schemes worth millions. Speaking about Nizam-e-Salat initiative, Yousaf said efforts were afoot to introduce this system across the country so the Azaan and prayers for multiple sects could take place at a mutually agreed time.
Horses vs donkeys
Referring to Dawar Khan, an independent councillor from Oghi tehsil, Yousaf alleged the chief minister offered the latter Rs3 million as part of a pitch to convince Dawar to join the PTI. “Dawar preferred not to sell his conscience and rejected the money before joining PML-N.”
He claimed there were numerous reports of PTI’s leadership negotiating with councillors to attain the required strength to form tehsil and district governments.
“It is donkey-trading, not horse-trading,” asserted Yousaf. “Where are Imran Khan’s transparent politics? Does he know his CM and cabinet members are involved in undemocratic practices by treating the councillors like a sellable commodity?” The minister added those adhering to democratic practices rejected such offers without taking any of the ramifications into consideration.
Earlier, Awami National Party’s Syed Shehzad Shah from Torghar district also accused Khattak and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders of similar political manoeuvrings.
Forming the govt
He told guests that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz obtained the required majority of over 30 members in a house of 59 in the Mansehra district council. Jamaat-e-Islami also pledged the support of two members.
Yousaf said re-polling was scheduled in five union councils on July 5 and he was confident his party would make a clean sweep in all five.
To a question, he said, “PML-N would never indulge in horse-trading and all those ruling in the Centre are driven by honesty and public welfare.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.
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