Khattak elected chairman of poll rigging probe committee


ISLAMABAD: The 30-member parliamentary committee formed to finalise the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for a probe into the alleged rigging in 2018 general elections unanimously elected Defence Minister Pervez Khattak as its chairman in its first meeting on Wednesday at the Parliament House.

Khattak’s name had been proposed by Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Naveed Qamar, and he assumed the position without any opposition from committee members.

However, what caused conflict between the government and opposition’s representatives was the name of the committee itself. The government members said that the committee has been tasked to “review” the matter, however, the opposition members did not feel partial to the idea, demanding that the name should mention a “rigging probe”.

Eventually, it was decided that the matter of the name was a mere triviality and the members should move on to more important matters.

Talking to media personnel, Khattak said: “The name of the committee is a trivial matter; we will settle it mutually. The committee had to elect a chairperson today, which it did by choosing me.”

He also added that there was no question of a co-chairperson to the committee, and “there will only be one”.

The committee also formed a sub-committee to outline the ToRs for the committee that will prove or disprove alleged rigging in the 2018 elections.

“The eight-member sub-committee will make its recommendations within 15 days,” Khattak said.

National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser had constituted a 30-member parliamentary committee, comprising MNAs and senators, to probe alleged rigging in the 2018 general elections

Headed by Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak, the committee consisted of members including, Shafqat Mehmood, Shireen Mazari, Fawad Chaudhry, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Azam Swati, Amir Dogar, Khalid Magsi, Akhtar Mengal, Ameenul Haq, Ghous Bakhsh Mehr and Ayaz Sadiq.