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ISLAMABAD: No consensus could be reached on Friday on a constitutional amendment to prevent horse-trading for the upcoming Senate elections, during an All Parties Conference (APC) chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today.
However, the government will still move ahead and present the amendment on March 2, with the support of the parties that agreed today.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) opposed any constitutional amendment, saying that all parties should internally sort the issue and have faith amongst each other.
PM Nawaz during the meeting, said he considered the of buying votes for Senate elections as an abominable act.
The PM chaired an APC today to discuss and resolve the issue of horse-trading during the upcoming Senate elections.
He went on to say that selling one’s vote is akin to selling ones soul and that it is everyone’s responsibility to stop the sale of votes and save the sanctity of Senate.
He further said that transparency is extremely necessary for reforms and democracy will only flourish if such acts of buying and selling of votes is stopped.
Jamat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had earlier voiced their concerns about horse-trading and buying of votes.
PTI leader Arif Alvi was also present today in the meeting to represent his party.
Amongst the parties that attended the high level meeting today were; PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), JUI-F, Awami National Party (ANP), PTI, and JI.
During the meeting, legal and constitutional measures to make the upcoming Senate elections completely fair and impartial were discussed.
There has also been an increase in the meetings and communication between the various political parties regarding the polls.
Earlier today, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari met different leaders including ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Meanwhile, PPP’s Senator Rehman Malik spoke to MQM chief Altaf Hussain with regards to the matter.