News Analysis |
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to summon Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to investigate his horse-trading claims on March 3 Senate elections. ECP received a formal petition from PTI’s counsel Babar Awan, where he demanded ECP to investigate the repeated claims of PM regarding horse trading in Senate elections.
According to the copy of the petition, which was released to the media, “the repeated claims of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi regarding use of money/bribes in the election of the Senate chairman is very alarming, because of the fact that the chief executive is most informed office in the country and his statement so made is more of a confession than a disclosure.”
PTI expressed reservation over the role of ECP along with the incumbent government as it did not acknowledge the demand of PTI to replace the old system with open voting for Senate elections to curb the corruption in Senate voting.
“Since PM is aware of the situation and has all the information and evidence, therefore, he should be immediately summoned and the information, which he will share, should become part of the ECP record for further proceedings,” it added. PM Abbasi leveled allegations of the horse trading in Senate elections and had accused Pakistan People Party (PPP) and PTI for playing politics of abuse. He declared it a jihad to speak against this practice of buying votes.
While addressing the gathering in Sargodha, PM challenged Imran Khan and Pakistan People Party (PPP) chairman Asif Ali Zardari to appear on Television and say this on record that legislators were not bought in the Senate elections. PTI and PPP believe that PM has insulted the parliament and have announced to move privilege motions against the prime minister for making these allegations.
Imran Khan, in particular, has ridiculed the PM for uttering this rhetoric a bit too late. He questioned the incumbent PM that why did PML-N not support his party’s suggestions to change the system of voting in Senate elections? In response to Imran’s counter-attack, PM said that he will say it again today [March 30] that money was used to elect Sadiq Sanjrani as chairman Senate.
He criticized Imran Khan for allegedly dubious behavior. As on one side, he voted for Zardari’s candidate, but at the same time, he lamented in a press conference that Zardari had bought fourteen PTI legislators in Peshawar. PTI chairman Imran Khan has told the media, during his visit to Karachi, that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly members affiliated with PTI had sold votes on March 3 Senate elections.
PM Abbasi leveled allegations of the horse trading in Senate elections and had accused Pakistan People Party (PPP) and PTI for playing politics of abuse. He declared it a jihad to speak against this practice of buying votes.
Imran alleged that some of the MPA’s were offered RS40 million to vote against PTI. In response to such grave accusations, both the parties have urged the PM to either apologize over remarks or face protests from opposition parties. After Senate elections, political parties including ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) along with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), PPP and PTI had demanded the investigations into the allegations of horse trading.
In reply to ECP notices, none of the party was able to provide solid evidence against the alleged horse-trading. Consequently, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza asked the legislators to help find the alleged culprits. PTI expressed reservation over the role of ECP along with the incumbent government as it did not acknowledge the demand of PTI to replace the old system with open voting for Senate elections to curb the corruption in Senate voting.
In reply to Khan’s quest to seek explanation form PM, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah suggests that PM should write to the ECP to call Imran and present the proofs over allegations he pitted against the PPP.