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Peshawar

March 9, 2018

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Imran hints at referring PTI members’ horse-trading case to NAB

PESHAWAR: Reiterating inability to produce any proof of sale of votes by the lawmakers, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Thursday announced to refer the horse-trading case of his party members to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

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Talking to reporters at one of the party membership camps at the Ladies Club here, he said his party would in any case stop the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s nominee to become the chairman Senate.

The PTI chief, who was in the city to visit various membership camps of the party, told the members of the media that some members of the provincial assembly had sold their votes for Rs40 million each in the Senate election.

“Their names were circulating in the social media, but this wasn’t enough for the PTI to proceed against these “conscience-sellers,” he said. He hinted at sending the case of those “who sold their souls during the Senate election” to the National Accountability Bureau.

Imran Khan said that he was confident that the NAB would properly probe the allegations against the members of the assemblies and would ensure action against those who resorted to horse-trading.

He said there were no proofs and evidence against those MPAs whose names had been handed over to him and who were linked to the horse-trading allegations. Therefore, he added that the matter would be sent to the NAB so it could be properly investigated.

“We have not yet taken any action against the memberswho allegedly sold their votes in the Senate election, but we are investigating the matter and would hand it over to the NAB as soon as the inquiry is completed,” he said. He added that there was no place in the PTI for those who sold their votes and none would be spared come what may.

He reminded that the PTI had repeatedly argued that the way the Senate election was held was not appropriate.

The members of the Upper House of Parliament should either be elected directly from their respective provinces or there should be proportionate system on the basis of party position to elect senators, he maintained.

The PTI chief said that a direct case would be registered once the probe is completed against these members so that nobody in the future could even think of selling his or her vote in the Senate election.

Elaborating, he said the secret ballot had actually led to the horse-trading in the Senate election. “The present system of Senate election needs to be replaced as it is promoting horse-trading,” he added.

To put an end to this flawed system, the PTI chief said that they had proposed electoral reforms, but none of the political parties supported their reforms package. “The horse-trading and other irregularities happen in each and every election in the country,” he pointed out.

Imran Khan reiterated his party’s policy on the Senate chairman’s election and said they would thwart the PML-N’s efforts to win the post of chairman.

He expressed the fear that the PML-N nominee after becoming chairman may go for legislation that would give a free hand to the corrupt.

It is our earnest desire that next chairman Senate should be from Balochistan, Imran Khan said, adding that going with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would equally be difficult. He said his party would hold in-depth consultations in this regard.

To the question about meeting of Maulana Fazlur Rahmanand Asif Ali Zardari on bringing candidate for the Senate chairman, Imran Khan retorted: “It doesn’t matter to you to join anybody’s party if you don’t have any ideology.”

Imran Khan congratulated the PTI women wing on the occasion of the International Women’s Day and said that the women deserved the credit for the party’s victory in the previous election. He urged the party’s women leadership to focus mainly on the females during the party’s membership drive.

Earlier, Imran Khan had whirlwind visits of the membership camps of the party in different parts of Peshawar, including Ring Road, Kohat Road, Hazarkhwani Chowk, Pishtakhara and Hayatabad.

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