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ECP to probe horse-trading, get assistance from FIA, intelligence agencies

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ISLAMABAD, Mar 14: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday hinted that they might seek help from FIA and intelligence agencies to probe alleged horse-trading in March 3 elections for 52 Senate seats.

Representatives of different political parties in person or through counsels appeared before a five-member bench of the ECP to substantiate their claims of horse-trading in Senate polls.

Shahid Gondal, the counsel for Imran Khan, told the ECP bench that PTI had already constituted a committee to investigate which party lawmakers voted for candidates other than PTI.

He claimed PTI will provide all available proof to ECP.

Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzaib requested ECP to get help from FIA and intelligence agencies.

Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza remarked ECP would do, further stating that “ECP wants all the political parties to help the supervisory body in investigating this matter.

“Selling and buying of votes is a serious crime,” he added further.

In his written reply, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Chief Farooq Sattar alleged six MQM-P’s Provincial Assembly members sold their votes.

According to Sattar, Heer Soho, Saleem Rajput, Shazia Javed, Naila Munir, Samita Afzal and Naheed Begum voted for the opposing candidate.

In his reply, Sattar further stated MQM-P has issued show-cause notice to the Provincial Assembly members.

Addressing the media, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Sheikh Salahuddin said, the party has provided all proof regarding horse-trading to the ECP.

“It is a very embarrassing act. Earlier, horse-trading was only limited to Fata. Now it has been carried out in all provinces.”

He further added the evidence contains names of those who sold votes.

The next hearing for the case will be on April 6.

Based on media reports, ECP last week issued notices to many politicians who leveled allegations against each other.

ECP on March 6 took notice of horse-trading allegations levelled against parliamentarians in the Senate elections.

The commission had summoned several politicians who have been appearing in the media with allegations of horse-trading. The election body further asked them to submit proofs if they had any to substantiate their claims.

They were summoned on March 14 to initiate an investigation into the claims so that action can be taken against those involved.

Allegations of horse-trading in Senate polls had been doing the rounds even before the Senate polls were held on March 3.

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