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Is Imran Khan justified in naming and shaming lawmakers?

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News Analysis |

Rana Sanaullah, a PML-N lawmaker, and Punjab Law Minister, claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan, has no evidence against those 20 lawmakers accused of horse-trading in Senate elections.

Read more: Imran khan to-expel 20 lawmakers from pti

The minister insisted that PTI chief has no real and solid evidence against these lawmakers. Therefore, they should, he maintained, confront the party leader.

Read more: PTI files petition in ECP seeking explanation from PM’s horse-trading allegations

“Imran Khan has left these 20 people with no option,” the PML-N minister told the media. “He does not even have any evidence against them, and this step has hurt their party.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Imran Khan has issued show cause notices to 20 lawmakers who are allegedly involved in horse-trading. PTI chief has further warned the lawmakers that if they fail to explain their position they will be expelled from the party and for the further prosecution; their names will be sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Rana SanaUllah has, however, suggested KPK lawmakers to confront Imran Khan without any fear. “These 20 people need to now grab Imran Khan by the collar,” he suggested.

Moreover, recently, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had accused his political rivals of buying the Senate elections, vowing to even expose the names of those who sold their votes. But Punjab Law Minister distanced himself from the statement and said “our party has no evidence against those who sold their votes. If we find any such evidence then we will take action.”

Read more: ECP probes horse trading: need for discipline or reform?

Is Imran Khan justified in naming and shaming lawmakers?

Many things in Pakistan’s political process have been managed through extraconstitutional means in order to ensure political continuity and personal growth. The recent Senate election where not only senators but also the chairman have been elected through an allegedly ‘engineered election’.  It was alleged that lawmakers from political parties took the money and sold out their votes. It was only Imran Khan who took the matter seriously and ordered an inquiry as to how PPP that has only six lawmakers in KPK assembly managed to get two seats in senate? PTI then found 20 lawmakers allegedly guilty of horse-trading.

Generally, in Pakistan, such moves by political parties during critical times when their future is to be decided are neither expected nor made. But Imran Khan being politically revolutionary has decided to make a history. Just before a few months of elections, Imran Khan has decided to expel 20 lawmakers if they fail to clarify their positions.

Read more: What made Senate Elections ‘controversial’?

Political analysts and commentators in Pakistan admired Imran’s bold move and suggested other political parties to follow this positive step. PML-N has, however, remained unable to give Imran Khan some credit for a decision based upon principles. As a matter of fact, democracy cannot become a reality if it is not internalized in lawmakers by the political parties and their heads. It is therefore mandatory to practice democratic ideals within the party to ensure democratic growth and stability in Pakistan.

Imran Khan has taught a lesson to the lawmakers who sell out their votes just because of money and violate party policies. Other political parties in Pakistan need to follow it for two reasons. Firstly, if horse trading is not stopped the importance of vote and voters will diminish and only money will matter. Secondly, if political parties do not address the matter seriously any third party (other than political parties) will get an opportunity to buy votes and thus engineer elections in Pakistan. For the development of democracy, people like Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah need to behave a little mature and not only appreciate Imran Khan but also follow what he is doing well.


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