ISLAMABAD: It has emerged that some members of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were bribed prior to voting in the Senate elections.
Some of the PTI’s own members confirmed on Friday that they were being asked to return the money they had received as bribes to vote for the party-nominated candidates in the recently-held Senate elections.
However, Fida Mohammad Khan, the now-elected Senator backed by the PTI, said he was unaware of any such activity. He explained that he did talk to the party’s MPAs but the conversation concerned the matter of party tickets for the upcoming elections.
Following the defeat of its own and its backed hopefuls, as well as Maulana Sami-ul Haq, the PTI has accused some 20 of its MPAs of violating party policy by not voting in favour of the candidates it had selected.
About three weeks after the Senate elections that were held on March 3, reports have surfaced alleging that various PTI leaders, some of its nominated senators, and a few top government officials have called the MPAs — who were bribed by candidates nominated by the party ahead of the Senate elections — and demanded they return the money they were paid earlier.
At the time they were paid off, the MPAs were told that the money they were being given was to help in their expenses related to the upcoming general elections. But, at the same time, demands were made of them to vote for the PTI-nominated hopefuls in the Senate elections.
These 22 suspected MPAs were called after the PTI’s defeat and asked to hand over the money they were given under the pretence of assistance for the upcoming election-related expenses.
While some of these MPAs have requested anonymity, MPA Ubaid Ullah Mayar, also part of the party, spoke openly about how the money they were paid is being demanded back.
Senator Fida Mohammad Khan, who won on the PTI’s ticket, made the demand to return the money, Mayar claimed, adding that he also threatened the MPAs of being deprived of the party tickets in the upcoming general elections in case of non-compliance.
Speaking to Geo News, Mayar said he intends to go to court against Senator Fida Khan, who, without proof, had levelled allegations against him.
He stressed that the PTI had faced a defeat in Senate elections due to candidates who did not belong to the party but were nominated nonetheless.
Mayar also asserted that Pervaiz Khattak, the Chief Minister of KP, was also involved in this whole debacle and has been harassing him in this regard.
By doing this, the MPA noted that Khattak had caused irreparable damage to the party.
On the other hand, Senator Fida Khan admitted to Geo News that he had indeed made calls to the MPAs but said the conversation was not about any money being demanded back; rather, it focused on the issuance of party tickets in the upcoming general elections.
Nevertheless, he refrained from making a comment when asked if he was allowed to issue party tickets and, instead, highlighted that he was making all these efforts to patch up things with the disgruntled MPAs.
It should be noted that most of the MPAs, who were shuffled during the recently-held Senate elections, belong to the PTI, and have had strict statements issued against them by the party.
The gist of the aforementioned statements was that appropriate action will be taken against the MPAs should proof of violation of party policy be discovered.