ISLAMABAD: The political parties on Friday could not reach a consensus over the 22nd Amendment in the Constitution during the meeting chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif regarding elimination of horse trading in elections. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) refused to endorse the Amendment.
The PM chaired a meeting of the parliamentary leaders to discuss the need of an Amendment in the Constitution to put an end to horse trading.
According to the sources, the meeting could not reach a consensus. PPP and JUI-F disapproved of the Amendment. However, all the political parties will submit an answer after consideration of the matter.
Former PM Raja Pervez Ashraf thanked the PM for calling a meeting to put an end to horse trading. He expressed these views while talking to the media after the meeting. He said that the political parties of the country want the elimination of horse trading but it is not the right time for another Amendment. He said that PPP would only approve of those Amendment upon which rest of the parties have no reservations.
He urged the government to formulate a solid and reliable policy for holding of unbiased elections. On the other hand Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has endorsed the 22nd Amendment in the Constitution. While talking to the media, Dr Farooq Sattar said that the electoral system of the country is faulty and needs reforms. He urged the elimination of horse trading and corruption from politics. He denounced the people who put price on the candidates saying that these people are gamblers and not politicians.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Arif Alvi said that they endorse the Amendment because it is the need of time. He urged the PM to present the bill in the Senate. Awami National Party (ANP) member Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said that it is unfortunate that the meeting could not reach a consensus over the agenda. He said that ANP endorses the Constitutional Amendment.
PM Nawaz Sharif said that horse trading is like selling conscience for money. He said that Senate Election Reforms Package requires time. He stressed the need to eliminate horse trading with a collective effort. He denounced the people who wish to sit in the Senate using their money.
However, the parliamentary leaders will meet on February 28 once again to discuss the matter.