Govt to include senators in committee probing poll rigging, reveals Khursheed Shah


KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah on Thursday said that the government has accepted the demand made by the opposition parties and agreed to include senators in the parliamentary committee to be constituted for probing the alleged electoral rigging in the July 25 elections.

Speaking to a local media outlet at the conclusion of a meeting with the National Assembly (NA) speaker, Shah revealed that the committee is expected to be formed following Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s return from his foreign tour.

On September 18, the government and the opposition parties had decided to form a committee to probe the allegations of rigging in the recently-held general elections.

According to the agreement made during the NA debate, the committee will have equal representation from the government and the opposition parties while it will be headed by a person nominated by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan.

At the time of the agreement, both sides had settled on the fact that the issue of poll rigging was related to the elections for the lower house of parliament therefore, no senator would be listed as a member of the Special Committee of the National Assembly as it would be called.

However, during the Senate’s session on Wednesday, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani reminded that not only was the matter of rigging in elections raised in the Senate, the first house, but the demand for a committee of the two houses be formed to investigate rigging complaints was also made there.

Rabbani said he had always tried to avoid confrontation between the two houses of parliament, but regretted that the NA in its first sitting after presidential polls bludgeoned the unity and supremacy of the parliament, forming an NA committee instead of a parliamentary panel.

Moreover, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Javed Abbasi while rejecting the plea for the exclusion of the Senate in the committee, said that these were elections to national and provincial assemblies and both the national and provincial assemblies formed the electoral college for Senate polls.