For PML-N everything was hunky dory with the party and its three coalition partners having 46 solid votes. All that they needed was seven extra votes to win the two top Senate slots. The PPP needed 33 extra votes and the PTI 41 to achieve the goal while both were not on speaking terms. What was impossible happened when Abdul Qaddus Bizenjo made Imran Khan to agree to support the panel named by him. Another miracle was to persuade Zardari to withdraw his party’s nominee in favour of Sadiq Sanjrani, and agree to the Deputy Chairman’s office instead. Another surprise came when MQM announced support for Sanjrani despite rivalries with the PPP and PTI. FATA Senators who generally move into action only when offered a substantial material incentive or when under pressure from the establishment supported the PTI-PPP panel. A single surprise can be attributed to chance. But if there are a number of surprises steadily pushing development in a particular direction, there is something more to it than meets the eye. The PML-N had smelled a rat when suddenly its government was overthrown by its own MPAs in Balochistan. The successive events look like moves of a well though out game.
The defeat of the PML-N in the Senate elections comes after a series of successes in by-polls in Punjab. Unless there are more serious interventions in the electoral process in days to come, this alone is not likely to have any significant impact on the electoral fortunes of the party.
The PML-N should be the last one to make an issue out of what happened to it because it has itself been a part of similar games against the PPP in the past. What comes as a surprise is that the PPP leadership has agreed to play the role that it had long accused the PML-N of, and for right reasons. It remains to be seen if this is a one-time act of revenge or a long term party policy under PPP-P President Asif Zardari.