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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has accused the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of approaching the members of other parties with “heavy offers” to buy their votes in the upcoming Senate elections.

Talking to Dawn after attending a meeting of the party’s media strategic group at Banigala here on Monday, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said the party was perturbed about reports that the PPP had been trying to woo the MPAs in Balochistan despite having no legislator in the provincial assembly whereas the PML-N had been doing the same in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the meeting presided over by PTI chairman Imran Khan had decided to “expose” all those involved in ‘horse-trading’ ahead of the Senate polls.

In reply to a question, Mr Chaudhry said they were devising a strategy to implement the decision of exposing the people involved in malpractices in the Senate elections.

Imran slams Sharif, Maryam for criticising KP government

When asked about the similar allegations against the PTI in Punjab where the party had given the ticket to former governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar despite having only 30 MPAs in the 371-member provincial assembly, he said they were only making efforts to unite the opposition parties. The PTI was in contact with the PML-Q and other opposition groups to field a joint candidate against the ruling PML-N, he added.

The PTI spokesman denied reports that Chaudhry Sarwar had been tasked with buying votes in the Punjab Assembly and said that they would rather happily accept the defeat than indulging in horse-trading or buying loyalties. He, however, claimed that the PTI was expected to get the votes of some of the PML-N dissidents.

Later, the party issued an official handout stating that the PTI leadership during the meeting had “condemned in the strongest terms the horse trading” for the Senate elections and decided “to bring into open the crooks involved in this heinous act marring the essence of democracy”.

The PTI leadership expressed grave concern over the recent wave of terrorism and condemned the alleged extrajudicial killing in Kasur of a man named Mudassir. Condemning the alleged police atrocities, the PTI said the ruling elite of Punjab considered the killing of innocent people legitimate. The PTI decided to approach a court of law for formation of a judicial commission to investigate the Kasur incident.

Meanwhile, the PTI chairman through his official social media account on Twitter lashed out at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam for criticising the performance of the KP government.

Speaking at a public meeting in Peshawar on Sunday, Mr Sharif had appealed to people to elect his party with an overwhelming majority in the general elections. He had also criticised Imran Khan for “spending four years sitting on containers” and asked what he had done for the province.

“Nawaz as usual also held forth a litany of lies about the KP government. Fact is there are 350 micro hydel stations completed in KP — all Nawaz Sharif had to do was to send his paid hacks to check this out. As for police, health and education reforms, all Nawaz Sharif had to do was to talk to the KP people,” Mr Khan tweeted.

Responding to Mr Sharif’s allegation regarding corruption in the billion tree project, Mr Khan said the PTI’s Billion Tree Tsunami Programme was audited by the World Wildlife Federation, whereas the International Union for Conservation of Nature had also acknowledged its success.

“Such ignorance on part of Nawaz Sharif is shameful,” Mr Khan writes.

“Yesterday Nawaz Sharif made clear his idea of democracy and of a prime minister heading a democratic government was where the PM is above the law of the land after being elected,” said Mr Khan, adding that according to Nawaz Sharif’s notion of democracy, an elected prime minister “can money launder, evade taxes, conceal assets, lie before parliament as all corruption is permissible because the PM is elected”.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2018