Senate elections: PM questions democracy of Pakistan

F.P. Report

KALLAR SYEDAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan commented on the burning issue of horse trading during the Senate elections on Wednesday.

He stated that vote-purchase in Senate elections since last 30 years was a big question mark over the credibility and integrity of politicians, who supported a corrupt system and ‘traded conscience in the name of democracy’.

While addressing the queries of media upon the recent video leak of politicians receiving bags og of money for seat seats, Prime Minister emphasized that “A big question lies ahead, whether to go for Senate polls with the old corrupt system or to act transparent instead.”

He expressed his views stating that the corrupt practices were revealed to him after he and his party members received offers from multiple sides for vote selling before previous Senate elections.

While mentioning his first hand experiences, Prime Minister noted that he was approached by different people for money and offered funds for Shaukat Khanum hospital as another mode of bribe.

Prime Minister also questioned the democratic structure being practiced in Pakistan stating that “What kind of democracy is this where votes are sold; this is nothing, but a blot on democracy.”

He recalled that he ousted 20 from his party who took money for votes in the last Senate elections, adding some of them also invoked the jurisdiction of the court against the action.

In addition to this Prime Minister also rubbished off the allegations of the opposition for being in knowledge about the video way earlier.

He stated that had he known about it, he would have presented it before court.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan Democratic Movement had made an alliance to protect their corruption and ill-gotten money.

Highlighting the corruption in politics, Prime Minister stated that “The market of corruption in politics is on rise, but no other party is willing to change it.”

While expressing regret senators buying votes from members of national and provincial assembly votes, he stated that the rate for a single Senate vote in Balochistan ranged between Rs 500 to 700 million, which was unfortunate.

Prime Minister said, “Those involved in such extravagance will later recover by minting money from the public exchequer.”

While replying back to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Fazlur Rehman, who earlier gave an advice to Imran Khan to learn politics from him, he said the JUI-F chief himself was the one who most benefited from the secret ballot.

Prime Minister reiterated that he had been advocating for an open ballot for the last five year.

While criticizing the opposition, Prime Minister highlighted that Pakistan Muslim League-N and Pakistan Peoples Party had earlier signed a Charter of Democracy and agreed for an open ballot, however changed their minds to support their corruption.

He was of the view that the ruling party could take more benefit from the secret ballot because of being in the government.

However, he said, ” we want to change the system for the benefit of the country and to end corruption, adding that with corruption at leadership level, the honesty at lower tiers could not be expected.

Furthermore Prime Minister also shared his view on inflation; stating that devaluation of Pakistan currency against dollar resulted in price hike, he mentioned that during PPP government, the rupee got weaken about 25 per cent while during PTI government rupees value declined by 24.5 per cent against dollars.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also expressed hope that with continuity of trend in growth of exports, the situation would be improved.