LAHORE - Senior PML-Q leader SM Zafar has expressed deep concern over his party chief’s decision of supporting an amendment in the Constitution to avoid secret balloting in the upcoming Senate elections without consent of the party’s executive committee.

SM Zafar expressed these reservations in a letter written to party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Saturday. Veteran PML-Q leader said in his letter, “Party chief Ch Shujaat Hussain, I have always considered you as one of the wise and patriotic Pakistani leaders and hence I am writing this letter.”  “I was shocked to see that under your leadership and without calling the meeting of the executive committee, the party has decided to support amendment in the Constitution to avoid secret balloting in the upcoming Senate elections.”  He added, “The politics in the coming days will be on principles and not on expediency, or ad-hoc decisions can close the expediency.”  “You (Shujaat) will recall that when the party and particularly the MNAs and senators of the party in majority decided to join PPP on the ground that unless they get funds for development, the party may lose elections, whereas I and some members opposed it, which saved the party from a disaster,” Zafar remarked.

“The party lost heavily but still it survived. Again when party resolved to keep General Musharraf for 10 years in uniform, I protested publically and in the Senate, contrary to party policy, that Gen Musharraf should take off his uniform. Party’s support to Gen Musharraf did not help us in the elections. We lost because our decision was not on principles, the veteran politician said.

He added, “Now the present decision of joining hands with those who want amendment in the Constitution, will be a disaster. Soon the nation and all those who are supporting such an amendment, if they succeed to go through the amendment, will realise that this has not controlled the corruption in the country but it will take a quantum jump which will be uncontrollable later.”  Zafar also sent a copy of the letter to party’ secretary general Mushahid Hussain Sayed, appealing to him to exercise his influence to stop the party from taking that suicidal step before the Parliament is called for the sinister objective.  “In fact, you should have insisted for a meeting of the executive committee. I do not want your name to be associated in this move,” he said.