Hasil Bizenjo, the National Party head and opposition’s candidate for the post of Senate chairperson, lost his bid to unseat Sadiq Sanjrani on Thursday but he didn’t take the defeat lying down.
The opposition thought it had the election in the bag. It did after all have a majority in the Senate — 66 members to the government’s 36. But the joint opposition suffered a major upset when 14 of its senators voted for Sanjrani to retain his seat. The votes are secret so it is unlikely they will ever found out who voted against them.
But that didn’t stop opposition leaders from calling those senators out. Maryam Nawaz said the 14 “backstabbers” should be “identified, named, shamed and sorted out”. “Fourteen conscience-selling senators back-stabbed democracy today,” said PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Speaking to a journalist while leaving the Senate, Bizenjo said he wasn’t worried at all and that he knew who the 14 senators were. “They’re General Faiz’s people. You know the ISI chief right?” he asked.
ISPR chief Major General Asif Ghafoor took to Twitter to comment on Bizenjo’s remarks, calling them unfounded. “Remarks by Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo implicating head of national premier institution are unfounded. The tendency to bring entire democratic process into disrepute for petty political gains doesn’t serve democracy,” he wrote.