LAHORE - By offering to name Raza Raabani as new Senate chairman is actually a googly delivered by Nawaz Sharif aimed at creating confusion in the party, said former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party senior leader Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday.

Talking to media persons after appearing before the accountability court in a reference here yesterday, the former premier said, “Both the PPP and Raza Rabbani know very well what this googly ball is meant for.”

He claimed that opposition parties were united and the PTI will also vote for the PPP candidates in the Senate elections. He said how the PPP could stand by the ruling party when its leaders were scathingly criticising the institutions. Raja said efforts for nomination and election of the Senate’s top position were about to enter the final phase and they were quite optimistic of the PPP candidate’s victory for that position. He also claimed that the PPP was holding the required number of votes for the Senate chairman and deputy chairman slots and optimistically added, the independently elected senators of Balochistan were also standing with the PPP.

To a question on the PPP’s politics of reconciliation, Raja said the media had always criticised the PPP on reconciliation with the PML-N and it had caused loss to the party. The PPP even bore loss for strengthening the democracy and the parliament. And for the end, the PPP adopted the way to take every party along, he said.

About Nawaz Sharif’s nomination for Raza Rabbani, he said, it was a bid by the former prime minister to create confusion, however, he added, the PPP candidate for the chairman slot will win. He said the PPP was a constitutional party and respected law and the courts while the PML-N was attacking the institutions disregarding the law and the constitution. How could the PPP stand by the PML-N in this situation, he posed a question.



Meanwhile, PPP Senator Ch Aitaz Ahsan has said that the ruling PML-N is developing a tempo for attacking the courts in case a decision is passed against Sharifs.

The ruling party was blatantly committing contempt of the court and the latter, by exercising restraint, was doing a good job, otherwise, the PML-N leaders would exploit the situation to pose them innocent, said Aitzaz said while talking to mediamen at the Supreme Court registry yesterday.

Aitzaz, also a constitution expert of eminence, viewed that the ruling members would try to come out of jail by breaking the wall. He said the Sharifs were creating the impression that they would fight if decision by the court came against them. Given the past history when the ruling party in 1998 had attacked the court that was hearing cases against then PM Nawaz Sharif, he feared that the ruling party could repeat the history.

He said the Sharifs escaped punishment while the Sharifs had a history of giving dictation to the judges for the award of punishment to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

Aitzaz categorically dispelled the impression of any differences between Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto when a question was put about them. On the question of Senate chairman name from the PPP, he said different names were under consideration in this regard and that of Saleem Mandiawala was at the top.