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PM Imran Says Govt Poised to Prevent Corruption Cycle in Senate Elections

-- Asad Umar claims rates for sale, purchase of senate voters fixed again

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ISLAMABAD– Prime Minister Imran Khan criticizing the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for supporting a “corruption-friendly” system in the Senate elections Tuesday, said the present government was determined to stop the cycle of corruption and money laundering that was debilitating the nation.

“The videos showing the shameful way in which politicians buy & sell votes in Senate reflects the total destruction of the nation’s morality by successive ruling elites as they drowned the nation in debt. Cycle of corruption & money laundering is a sordid tale of our political elite”, Imran Khan tweeted after the media-leak of a video showing distribution of money by and among some members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before the 2018 Senate elections.

“They spend money to come to power & then use this political power to make money to purchase bureaucrats, media & other decision-makers to consolidate their power & rob nation’s wealth – money laundering it into offshore accounts/ foreign assets / palatial residences abroad,” he remarked.

“This is what the PDM cabal wants to now protect by
supporting a corruption-friendly system. We are determined to stop
this cycle of corruption & money laundering that is debilitating the
nation,” the prime minister maintained.

Rates for sale, purchase of senate voters fixed again: Asad Umar

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar Tuesday said as the date for Senate
elections was approaching near, the politicians have started setting their rates to sell votes for senate seats.

“It is not a new practice as we have been observing such “Bakra
Mandis” like practices in the parliament for a long but the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) government wants to stop such obnoxious game
once for all,” he said while addressing a press conference here
flanked by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli
Faraz.

Asad Umar said the leaked video that was being circulated in media,
was the video actually recorded in 2018 before senate elections,
clearly showed that some Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly members were
receiving cash to sell their votes.

He said the PTI had cancelled the party membership of the alleged MPA
of Khyber Pakhtunkwa Assembly which was also reflection of the party’s
commitment to curb corrupt practices from across the board.

He said he that it was necessary to tell the people that the
government had presented a bill in the parliament for a constitutional
amendment to ensure senate election through open balloting.

Expressing displeasure over the opposition’s attitude, he said the
leaders of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had repeatedly supported
the idea of senate elections through open balloting but now when there
was a time to turn those statements into reality, they started playing
politics on the issue.

“The power of democracy does not come from any tank or arms, but it
comes from the moral strength of the parliamentarians,” he added.

He said the charter of democracy was signed by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto
and Nawaz Sharif in which it was clearly written that there should be
no more senate elections through secret balloting.

The minister said the people won elections by utilizing the money that
they had earned through wrong means and after winning election, they
use their influence to earn more black money.

Asad Umar said the government had right to get their due seats.

About opposition’s remarks that the government was worried about the
senate elections, the minister termed such remarks as wrong
observations recalling the time when the government succeeded to
approve the bill about Financial Action Task Force (FATF) despite
having majority members of opposition in the senate.

He said the politicians who were creating fuss over the amendment knew
that if the amendment would be passed, their source of black money
would be stopped.

Talking about the filing of a presidential reference to seek the
Supreme Court’s opinion on open ballot in the Senate elections, Asad
Umar said the time for the polls was approaching fast and the Apex
Court had not yet reached a decision, that is why the government had
decided to issue an ordinance but the top court would have the final
decision.

He said interpreting the Constitution was the Supreme Court’s domain
and whatever decision they take would be final and the government
would accept it.

Responding to a question, Umar said that MPAs and MNAs were “free to
cast their votes for whoever they wanted”, adding that the
Constitution did not stop them from doing so.

“But if there is a basis for casting the vote [against your own party]
that is unethical, we are talking about ending that.”

SOURCE: APP