Saturday December 03, 2022

Senate elections: Loyalties being bought: PM

By News Report
January 30, 2021


SAHIWAL: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said the auction of parliamentarians for the Senate election had begun and he knew how much money was being offered to buy their loyalties.

“We also know a political leader, who has been collecting money to buy votes,” he said while talking to the media here.

Imran said for the last 30 years he had seen the 'auction' of parliamentarians to buy their votes for the Senate membership. After the last Senate election, the PTI expelled its 20 members, who were found to have sold their votes for Rs50 million each.

All the political leaders knew the practice, he added.

Calling it treason, the prime minister questioned whether the senator, who had bought his seat, would not make money, and as to how would represent the province.

"In which democracy, parliamentarians sell out their votes,” he asked.

Recounting his government’s efforts for fair Senate election, Imran said it had moved the Supreme Court.

“It would also table a bill in the Parliament for open ballot, which would make people know as to who were trying to eliminate corruption and those defending it,” he added. He said the country was going through a historic battle to establish rule of law and to nab the plunderers, who considered themselves above law.

“This is a historic battle for rule of law. These thieves consider themselves above law… They just accept the court decisions favouring them. This historic battle will ensure the rule of law and put the dacoits in jail, which is their real abode,” the prime minister said.

He said in the past, the PML-N leaders used to get court verdicts in their favour either by bribing judges or by ransacking the Supreme Court.

He said while trying to trap the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the opposition parties had entangled themselves in the foreign funding case.

“We want the Election Commission to take this case to its logical end. It should scrutinize the funding of all political parties. I foresee, they will find only one party, which is the PTI, which has provided complete record of names and addresses of around 40,000 donors. Anyone could contact those donors to ask whether they had donated money to the PTI or not,” he added. He also challenged the opposition parties to just furnish detail of just 100 donors, what to talk of 1,000.

“This will also expose who had got funding from Osama Bin Laden. There is a public statement of Khalid Khwaja’s wife,” he said and questioned the source of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman’s properties worth billions of rupees. No government touched him ever either because he had been part of that setup or fearing any “decree” by him, he remarked.

The premier said he considered Fazlur Rehman "an insult to religious scholars".

"He is a corrupt man. Calling him maulana is an insult to religious scholars. Fazlur Rehman used madrasah students and raked in billions.”

The premier said Fazl considered himself above the law and “the Movement does not accept any decision that is given by any forum which is against it".

Even, he said, Nawaz Sharif had laundered money in the name of party fund.

To a question, he said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was destined to fail, as the people always took to streets only against the rulers’ corruption, not to protect that.

Exemplifying the anti-corruption public movements in Lebanon, South America and Iraq, the prime minister said the Pakistan’s opposition parties tried to fool the masses.

Referring to Nawaz Sharif, he said a party leader having absconded to London was trying to act as a revolutionary leader and threatening the government just for the sake of an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to protect the looted public money.

Imran Khan said the Parliament could be run jointly by the government and the opposition with the latter pressuring the former to address pubic issues.

Democracy could never work if the opposition was agitating just to get NROs and linking it with their support in legislation, he said.

He said despite being responsible for the current economic issues, the opposition blackmailed the government in its efforts for economic revival and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) legislation, besides calling for abolition of 34 of 38 clauses of the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) law.

Asked about the opposition’s tirade against some outspoken PTI leaders, the prime minister said it was a matter of distinction for them.

"If they laud me, it will rather be a disgrace for me," he added.

Meanwhile, addressing a cheque distribution under the Ehsaas programme and provision of tractors under Kamyab Jawan programme ceremony, Imran hailed Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar for bringing the land mafia to the book and getting the state lands worth billions of rupees vacated from the illegal occupants.

The premier said he was pleased to see how the ‘palaces of land-mafia’ were demolished, adding that land-mafia (qabza groups) was a curse and enemy of the state.

“I congratulate Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his team, including Chief Secretary Punjab and Inspector General of Police (IGP), for taking the powerful land grabbers to task,” the premier started his address with these words.

Imran said Usman Buzdar did not spend billions of rupees of public money on self-projection and move in a convoy of 40 government vehicles but he had done a true service to the people by nabbing the land grabbers.

"This is the real change ('tabdeeli') when big dacoits are taken to task and brought to justice," he said, adding that only those nations prospered that upheld the rule of law.

The prime minister said the land mafias strengthened due to backing of political leaders.

“Even some political leaders were also part of the mafia,” he added.

He said after demolition of Khokhar Palace, the self-proclaimed future leader Maryam Nawaz held a press conference just to support the land mafia without bothering to know the fact that they had occupied state land worth Rs1.3 billion.

“The mafia had occupied the land during the PML-N government, which later also obliged the party leadership,” he added.

He said when a prime minister backed the land mafia, he would lose his moral authority to forbid the administration as well as the police to do the same.

“We will not pardon the big robbers. No NRO will be given. We will not forgive the land grabbers too nurturing under them (political leaders),” he resolved.

To another question, the prime minister said the government was set to announce an agriculture policy to overhaul the sector within next five to ten years.