PPP candidate Shehzad Ali Khan’s tally raises eyebrows
LAHORE: Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Saturday became the first Senator of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from Punjab while benefitting from his personal contacts and friendships among almost all political parties.
According to the details, it was impossible for the PTI to secure a single Senate seat from Punjab, keeping in view the strength of the party in the Punjab Assembly. The PTI has only 30 MPAs in the house while over 45 first priority votes were required to win a seat on the general category that Sarwar managed to secure by grabbing the highest votes among the Senators elected on general seats.
Three independent candidates Ali Salman, Ehsan Riaz Fatyana and Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak supported Sarwar while Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) also cast his vote in Sarwar’s favour. But even then the aggregate of 34 was far less to secure a seat and Sarwar had to use his personal contacts within the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) that he successfully utilised to become a Senator from Punjab.
“Around four to five MPAs of the PML-N cast their first priority votes to Sarwar while a large number of MPAs also gave him second priority votes that enabled him to secure the maximum votes on general seats,” a ruling party lawmaker told Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity.
There was also an understanding between the PML-Q and PTI to cast their second priority votes to each other’s candidate but that was also not enough for Sarwar to clinch a seat as the PML-Q has only 8 MPAs in the house and therefore Sarwar approached a number of PML-N MPAs whom he had befriended back when he was a senior leader of the PML-N and served as the Punjab governor, the MPA added.
It may be noted that Sarwar resigned from the slot of Governor and left the PML-N due to some differences with the party leadership before joining the PTI. He has also served as a British parliamentarian after being elected as a member of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. He is considered a very vibrant person among the fraternity of politicians as he ran a rigorous campaign in the by-elections of Lahore’s NA-122 constituency for PTI’s Aleem Khan that was undoubtedly the closest contest that the PML-N won with a margin of only two thousand votes.
PPP CANDIDATE SHEHZAD ALI KHAN’S TALLY RAISES EYEBROWS:
Shehzad Ali Khan, the candidate of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for the general seat, also raised alarm bells as he secured 26 votes despite the fact that the PPP has a strength of only 8 MPAs in the Punjab Assembly. The trend of Shehzad’s performance reveals that the PPP was massively indulged in ‘horse-trading as he got 18 more votes than the incumbent strength of the party.
It is pertinent to mention here that Mian Manzoor Wattoo of PPP played the vital role in getting 26 votes for Shehzad who is the son-in-law of Wattoo – a very shrewd politician who also served as the Punjab Assembly speaker. The Zardari factor in the case of Shehzad cannot be ruled out as Zardari is an expert of power politics, who eagerly wants the Senate chairman to be of his party – the PPP – once again.