Lack of interest halts investigation into election rigging allegations


Due to a lack of interest by the parliament, the investigation into the allegation of rigging in the 2018 general election has been put on hold, a local news outlet reported on Wednesday.

The formation of a parliamentary committee was announced by the government after the opposition protested against the alleged rigging. A sub-committee held four sessions on November 14, November 21, December 3 and December 13 but the government and treasury benches failed to reach consensus on the terms of reference (ToRs). It also failed in breaking the stalemate between the benches.

Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mehmood was the convener of the sub-committee and Fawad Chaudhry, Rana Sanaullah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Abdul Wasay, Senator Muhammad Ali Saif, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and Senator Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti were the other members.

It is worth mentioning here that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), a component of the committee, had already boycotted the probe.

The parliamentary committee could not meet for a single scheduled monthly meeting in February. The opposition had proposed 10-point ToRs and the government side floated a one-point ToR but both the sides failed to evolve a consensus on it.

The sub-committee concluded that both the sets of ToRs will now be presented before the main committee for consideration.

On October 15, the government had announced the formation of the Parliamentary Committee on General Elections 2018 to probe alleged rigging in the general elections after the opposition complained massive rigging in the polls.

The committee comprises thirty parliamentarians, including 21 members from the National Assembly (NA) and nine from the Senate.

On November 7, the parliamentary committee had unanimously appointed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Pervez Khattak as the chair of the committee.