Body on ‘horse-trading’ video to probe beneficiaries

The committee constituted to probe the recently surfaced scandalous video showing vote buying prior to 2018 Senate elections has decided to investigate the beneficiaries as well as financiers of the malpractice.

Constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the three-member committee, in its maiden meeting held here, also decided to invite the journalist who released the video on the media.

“The committee will probe who were the beneficiaries and who allegedly provided money to purchase the MPAs votes,” said a statement.

The body comprises Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and Adviser to PM on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar.

The committee recognised the undermining of democracy by vote purchasing especially in Senate elections. Besides defining its procedures, the committee decided to use human rights minister’s office as its secretariat.

The body will also request those who may have first-hand knowledge of the incident to share information with them either in writing or in person. It will also recommend the actions to be taken.

Last week, a video showing lawmakers allegedly receiving money for voting for the PPP candidates in the 2018 Senate polls whipped up a storm with the premier ordering Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (K-P) chief minister to remove an incumbent provincial minister, Sultan Muhammad Khan.

The video showed a man handing over large sums of money, reportedly Rs20 million, to various K-P Assembly lawmakers from the ruling PTI as well as some other parties.

In the video clip, made through a hidden camera, K-P former minister for law Sultan Muhammad Khan and another person Sardar Idrees could be seen counting the money and signing an undertaking.

Former MPAs from the PTI Meraj Hamyoon and Dena Khan, former PPP MPA Muhammad Ali Bacha and others could also be seen receiving cash for supporting the candidates of another party in violation of their party lines.

(With input from APP)

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)