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Committee formed to investigate against Senate horse-trading 2018 meets

ISLAMABAD : The first meeting of the committee formed by PM Imran Khan to investigate against the lawmakers involved in horse-trading during Senate elections in 2018 held on Saturday in Islamabad.

The move was taken by PM Imran Khan after video showing trading by some Members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs) during Senate polls in 2018 surfaced earlier this week. The meeting was attended by a three-member committee including Federal Minister Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, and Advisor to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar.

 The committee has decided to investigate those who benefited from the votes and vowed to expose people who provided funds for buying of votes. The committee also decided to summon the journalist who released the video, for initial information.

The committee decided to hold next meeting in the Human Rights Secretariat next week. Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a committee to investigate horse-trading during Senate elections in 2018 after a video of lawmakers taking bribe surfaced.

The committee is to ascertain the facts against those involved and will forward its recommendations to Prime Minister. It is pertinent to mention here that a video of horse-trading during Senate elections in 2018 by some provincial lawmakers has emerged who can be seen counting bundles of notes and putting them inside a bag. Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that selling votes for financial benefits is very shameful and demanded action against those Senators who payed lawmakers to get elected.

On the other hand, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill has said that PM Imran Khan has been raising the issue for past 25 years as he is strictly against horse-trading in elections. It is to be noted here that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had expelled its lawmakers for “selling their votes” in Senate elections.

Imran Khan had said that 20 of PTI MPAs had received Rs40 million each for selling their loyalties in the Senate election. PTI government, in order to conduct Senate elections by open ballot in 2021, has approached the apex court under Article 186. The top court’s guidance has been sought in the presidential reference in order to amend Section 122 (6) of the Election Act, 2017 without amending the constitution.

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