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March 6, 2018

PTI, PML-N, MQM-P say money used in Senate election

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March 6, 2018

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The PTI, PML-N and MQM said huge money was used in Saturday’s Senate election to buy votes of lawmakers.The PTI Chairman Imran Khan claimed that some Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly members affiliated with the party sold their votes. Terming this disappointing, he said a committee had been constituted to probe the matter.

Imran Khan said strict action would be taken against individuals who sold their votes. He told journalists that many MPAs turned down offers amounting to Rs40 million. “I salute those who chose not to do so. Those who traded votes for money will be dealt with strictly,” he said while talking to media in Karachi.

Imran Khan added that no state institution had bothered to launch an inquiry despite reports of MPAs selling votes. He said the Election Commission should have taken immediate action. “I have been repeatedly whistleblowing against money-driven voting practices related to Senate and have called for change of election procedures,” he said.

He added that while the ECP advocated privacy for Senate votes, it failed to apprehend those who were involved in horse-trading. “I have talked to Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and he is investigating to ascertain what happened,” Imran said, adding, “We know who paid the bribe, but don’t know who pocketed the money. Rs40 million were paid to each MPA,” the PTI chief claimed.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb while talking to media persons outside Accountability Court in Islamabad said that known horse traders are levelling baseless allegations of horse-trading against the PML-N.

She questioned how Chaudhry Sarwar of the PTI secured 44 votes in Senate election, whereas the party had only 30 seats in the Punjab Assembly. “Those who were trying to give lessons of morality and crying hoarse to end corruption from Pakistan used money to win elections,” she said.

She also asked Imran to investigate the winning of Senate seats by the PPP from KP and securing of 44 votes by Chaudhry Sarwar in Punjab. “Had Imran Khan taken any action so far against Ch Sarwar for his indulgence in horse-trading? At least Imran who relished tweeting on everything under the skies must upload a tweet or a statement on the issue,” Marriyum added.

“What transpired in KPK and Balochistan during Senate elections is known to everyone,” she remarked. “Can Imran divulge any action he has taken against Chaudhry Sarwar, who got 14 more votes than the PTI strength in the Punjab Assembly?”

Marriyum said that time has come to purge the political system of such bad practices of horse-trading and changing loyalties. Meanwhile, the MQM-Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar decried attempts to restrict his party in the political scene through horse-trading in the Senate election, saying he would challenge the results in the Election Commission.

Addressing media in Karachi, Farooq Sattar said the MQM-P will also approach the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court regarding the matter. Sources said the party’s six MPAs in the Sindh Assembly defied party orders and voted for the PPP in Saturday’s elections. MQM-P, as a result, was able to secure only one seat in the Upper House.

Farooq Sattar lamented that 15 or possibly more of MQM-P members were “forced to change their loyalty”. He also claimed that six party members have been served show-cause notices for violating party orders. The members include Naila Muneer, Heer Soho, Shazia Farooq, Sameeta Afzal, Saleem Bandhani and Naheed Begum, sources said. Decrying that the party is going through difficult times, Sattar also alleged that Mohajirs’ vote is being made to divert to the PTI and PML-F.

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