Senate represents federation and the spirit of the constitution; it is not expected to become a hostage to politics of reconciliation, where principles and ethics are sacrificed at the altar of arrogance, greed and whims of power politics. While unopposed election of Raza Rabbani, as Chairman Senate, bodes well for dignity of the house, the election of Ghafoor Haideri reflects the reverse. This Machiavellian style political manoeuvring, where politics sans ethics and morality has been accepted makes a mockery of democracy, making it akin to dictatorship.

In a democracy, elected leaders are not expected to harbor known criminals, tax evaders, land grabbers and smugglers, nor order police to set free on parole 32 convicted murderers, as was done by Musharraf, neither patronise armed criminal militias involved in crimes. Politicians known for their links with criminals should not be appointed as Deputy Chairman Senate, just because some party leaders want it. The ECP is expected to scrutinise candidates, which it has failed to do. I am happy that PTI put up a candidate more worthy and dignified than Ghafoor Haideri. Recently the Senate has been belittled, when controversial men with billions in their pocket, bought seats as if they were buying sheep.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, March 14.