Sunday Mar 14 2021

Bilawal expresses full confidence in opposition senators at dinner hosted at Zardari House

(L-R) Farooq H Naek, Sherry Rehman, Yousuf Raza Gillani, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Faryal Talpur. — Photo courtesy Gillani House Official

A dinner was hosted on Saturday at Zardari House, Islamabad, in honor of PPP senators and party leaders, where party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed full confidence that all opposition lawmakers voted for Yousuf Raza Gillani in the Senate chairman election.

Bilawal said that a wrong impression was being given that some opposition senators had deliberately stamped the ballot paper in the wrong manner. "No senator had affixed their stamp wrongly," he said.

The PPP chairman said he has full confidence in all the senators of the opposition.

"The Senate secretary had instructed lawmakers to put a seal anywhere in the box of the candidate of their choice," said Bilawal.

All the senators of the opposition voted for Yousuf Raza Gillani, the PPP chairman added.

Bilawal said that all the Opposition parties stand united under the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) platform.

He is of the view that the installation of cameras inside polling booths was as big a scandal as Watergate.

Bilawal said the Opposition would soon challenge the decision of the presiding officer — who rejected seven votes cast in favour of Gillani — in the High Court and hoped that justice would be served.

PPP leaders, during the dinner, said it was necessary not to resign from the parliament for "continued success". At this, Bilawal said that PDM will decide whether or not resignations must be handed in.

PDM's senior leadership vows to investigate senators

Following the opposition's shock defeat in the elections for the Senate top slots, PDM leaders Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, earlier in the day, held a teleconference to review the election and agreed to investigate all Opposition senators suspected to be "close" to elected Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

The three leaders spoke over the telephone to discuss the PDM’s loss in the elections for Senate chairman and deputy chairman despite holding superior numbers (51 senators compared to the Opposition's 47).

Sources said the three leaders have agreed to find out the reasons behind their loss in the elections.

“In chairman Senate elections, [7] votes were rejected [then] how did the government candidate get all the [7] votes in the election of deputy chairman?” Fazl reportedly asked Zardari and Nawaz during the conversation.

They also discussed preparations for the PDM’s upcoming long march and the alliance’s future.

During the conversation, the PDM chief, Fazl, also reportedly told the leaders of the two largest opposition parties that there was "no point" in holding a long march without the Opposition resigning en masse from the assemblies.