How JI’s Mushtaq Ahmad became senator despite insufficient support?

The federal cabinet committee set up to probe possible Senate horse-trading in the 2018 polls has on Monday called on Jamati Islami Pakistan senator Mushtaq Ahmad to respond on how he landed the seat despite insufficient support.

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The federal cabinet committee set up to probe possible Senate horse-trading in the 2018 polls has on Monday called on Jamati Islami Pakistan senator Mushtaq Ahmad to respond on how he landed the seat despite insufficient support.

The committee, comprising federal cabinet members including Shireen Mazari and Fawad Chaudhry, was constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan to investigate the gravity of the dishonorable dealings after the controversial video surfaced where money was changing hands.

In a letter addressed to Senator Mushtaq Ahmad, the committee inquired how he won the Senate seat even when his party was not even in the position from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The letter signed by federal human rights minister Mazari has asked the JI senator to whether present before the committee in person to explain his position or furnish a written response to the committee.

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Senator Mushtaq has reportedly agreed to present in person before the federal cabinet committee tomorrow whose session is set to take place in the human rights ministry office.

Senate votes being sold, reveals PM Khan

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that a Senate vote was being sold for Rs500 million to Rs700 million in Balochistan. Speaking to media persons in Kallar Syedan, Prime Minister Khan said the ruling PTI can bag more seats than opposition parties if the upcoming Senate elections are held through secret balloting.

“How is this possible that the senator who gets elected by means of money won’t make quick bucks,” he questioned and revealed that he is being offered money for Senate seats and this is not the first time he is being made such offers. “I was contacted directly and indirectly for selling a Senate seat for the sake of money,” he said.

“For 30 years, money is being used in the Senate elections,” the prime minister said, adding selling vote in return of money negates democracy. He further claimed that it was JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who got most monetary benefits from the Senate polls.

He said he expelled 20 MPAs from his party for being involved in horse-trading, two of whom went so far as to file a case against him.

The prime minister said the PPP and PML-N called for open balloting for the Senate elections in the Charter of Democracy (COD) signed between leaders of the two parties. “Why didn’t they [opposition parties] tried to do away with the practice of the use of money in the Senate elections despite being in power for 30 years,” the premier asked.

Lawmakers caught red-handed

A video of PTI lawmakers allegedly receiving bribes before the Senate elections in 2018 has surfaced on social media amid the heated debate between the government and Opposition on the issue of balloting for this year’s Senate elections.

In the video, stacks of currency can be seen sitting atop a table in front of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PTI MPAs. Sultan Mohammad Khan and MPA Ubaid Mayar can be seen in the video as well.

Former PPP MPA Mohammad Ali Bacha can be seen handing over the stacks to the PTI parliamentarians. PTI’s Sultan Mohammad Khan can be seen receiving money in the video and keeping it in a bag.

Sardar Idrees, another former MPA of the PTI, can also be seen taking money. Another former PTI MPA Meraj Humayun can be seen in the video, receiving the money and putting it in a bag as can another former MPA of the party, Dina Khan.

In 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan revealed the names of lawmakers who sold votes during the Senate elections and announced to expel them from the party. The PTI chief said that nobody took any action was not on the buying and selling of votes during the Senate election. Imran claimed that between 30-40 votes were sold in the Senate elections.

Nargis Ali, Dina Naz, Nagina Khan, Naseem Hayat, and Fauzia Bibi were named as the female PTI lawmakers who had sold votes. Among the male PTI lawmakers who were found guilty of selling votes by PTI’s investigation committee were Sardar Idrees, Obaid Mayar, Zahid Duranni, Abdul Haq, Qurban Khan, Amjid Afridi, Javed Naseem, Yasin Khali, Faisal Zaman, and Sami Alizayi.

Read more: Why or why not an ‘open ballot’: Insights by experts Senate Elections 2021

The PTI chief also named Mairaj Humayun from Qaumi Watan Party, Khatoon Bibi and Babar Saleem from Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan, and Wajeeh uz Zaman from Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz for being involved in selling votes during the elections of the Upper House of the Parliament.

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