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Articles

Why Buzdar has been Strengthened

City Notes

For some reason, everyone has been concentrating on the effects of Yusuf Reza Gilani’s win on Imran Khan. No one has focused on what it meant for Usman Buzdar. Even though for him, it meant complete vindication. I mean, a lot of cognoscenti thought he should have fallen on his sword for not winning the Daska by-election, including the display of ineptitude which led to rigging being caught.

By the same token, Imran was supposed to win in the National Assembly. Well, not quite win himself, but get his candidate elected to the Senate from the National Assembly. So if Dr. Hafeez Sheikh lost, what was he supposed to do? The Opposition suggested he resign. As a matter of fact, they clamoured for his resignation. Instead, he opted for a vote of confidence, which he obtained. So the 16 MNAs who switched sides supported him when it became a matter of an open vote.

Of course, we don’t know whether vote resulted from opposition to Dr. Sheikh from those who resented the ticket going to someone who had been imposed on the party rather than having struggled for it, or whether there was positive support from Seraiki members, perhaps those who had joined the PTI when the Seraiki Suba Mahaz merged with it, for the first Seraiki to become Prime Minister. Imran says he know who the 16 are, and presumably they know he knows.

If the opposition can again cobble together a majority, Gilani may well be the next Senate Chairman. That would be a definite indicator that the umpire is not on the same page as the Kuptaan. If he does become Chairman, not only will he become part of that small club of people who have been members of both Houses of Parliament, but will be the only person to have presided over both Houses. As a matter of fact, only NA Speaker Asad Qaisar has ever presided over two Houses, having been the previous KP Assembly Speaker.

Imran has got other worries. Like how India is walking all over England in Tests. How can Imran be a true ambassador for Kashmir so long as the Western powers continue to support India in cricket? To add to his woes, the biosecure bubble of the PSL was not just breached, but shredded, with three people falling sick, both support staff and players, and forcing the remaining matches to be postponed. Well, in Karachi, of the 14 matches that did take place, the first 13 were won by the team batting second. In fact, it was not until the Quetta Gladiators made 176-7 did a team set a target which they defended, as the Multan Sultans fell short by 22 runs.And it was not as if they had set a particularly stiff target. In six matches, the batting side had made more than 176, and had been overtaken. So you can’t really tell, can you?

In this situation, how can Imran be expected to tackle the new Chief Election Commissioner, whom he revealed to be Mian Nawaz, in his address to the nation about being on the same page?

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