At least 17 PTI lawmakers accused of horse-trading

  • Sarwar rejects horse-trading allegations, says democratic-minded MPAs gave votes on voice of conscience


ISLAMABAD: At least 17 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) allegedly sold their votes during the Senate election, enabling two Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidates to be elected to the Senate from the province where the PPP only has seven MPAs.

An initial investigation ordered by KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak into alleged horse-trading revealed that at least 17 and as many as 20 PTI MPAs in KP had voted for candidates outside the party, sources in the CM House Peshawar and Bani Gala told on Sunday.

The investigation report also claimed that those allegedly involved in the practice included several prominent party leaders and disgruntled party members, the sources said.

CM Khattak shared the findings with PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday, according to the sources. During the discussion, the party chief expressed his anger over alleged horse-trading in the province and directed Khattak to submit a detailed report in this regard.

The PTI and PPP both accused each other of resorting to horse-trading in the Senate elections in Punjab and KP on Saturday.

As Imran Khan questioned the victory of two PPP candidates in KP, the PPP put the same question to the PTI with respect to the victory of its lone candidate in Punjab, Chaudhry Sarwar.

Meanwhile, a reliable source in the PPP claimed that it was KP CM Khattak who had approached the PPP’s provincial chapter for an understanding on a seat reserved for women. However, this claim was rejected by the PTI.

“This is unbelievable and seems to be a part of a conspiracy theory,” PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry told earlier when his views were sought on the PPP leader’s claim.

On the other hand, responding to Imran Khan’s allegations against his party, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar on Saturday accused PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar of using unethical means to win the seat in Punjab.

“We negotiated with the parties (in KP) and secured their support. If we got two Senate seats with only seven MPAs, how did PTI win one seat in Punjab, when it could not?” Babar said.

On the other hand, the newly elected PTI Senator Muhammad Sarwar has said that PML-N was talking about “post-mortem” of his own party after his success that proves PML-N has embraced political death.

Addressing a conference at his residence along with opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rashid, PTI Central Punjab President Aleem Khan, MNA Shafqat Mehmood, MPA Mian Aslam Iqbal, Sibtain Khan and Central Secretary Publicity Waseem Chaudhary on Sunday, he said, “Democratic-minded MPAs gave us votes on the voice of conscience.”

He dismissed allegations of horse trading and rejected fabricated allegations of PML-N against him. “PTI will give surprise to PML-N in next elections and we will make government in the whole country including Punjab,” he held.

The party’s core committee will decide on the election of Senate chairman and deputy chairman, Sarwar said, adding that the success of PTI in Senate elections was a triumph of truth and democracy.

He went on to say that the party was united under the stewardship of Imran Khan and his success was a result of team-effort of whole party and leadership. “Pakistan is facing international pressure and I will serve the cause of country on the international level as a senator,” he added.

Answering a question, he said that the PTI will strengthen the country on both internal and external levels by improvising internal security and foreign policy. “Rulers are threatening the national institutions, but they will not succeed in their ulterior motives,” he added.