At least 17 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) allegedly sold their votes during the Senate election, enabling two Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates to be elected to the Senate from the province where the PPP only has seven MPAs.
An initial investigation ordered by KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak into alleged horse-trading revealed that at least 17 ─ and as many as 20 ─ PTI MPAs in KP had voted for candidates outside the party, sources in CM House Peshawar and Bani Gala told DawnNewsTV on Sunday.
The investigation report also claimed that those allegedly involved in the practice included several prominent party leaders and disgruntled party members, the sources said.
CM Khattak shared the findings with PTI Chairman Imran Khan today, according to the sources. During the discussion, the party chief expressed his anger over alleged horse-trading in the province and directed Khattak to submit a detailed report in this regard.
The PTI and PPP both accused each other of resorting to horse-trading in the Senate elections in Punjab and KP on Saturday.
As Imran Khan questioned the victory of two PPP candidates in KP, the PPP put the same question to the PTI with respect to the victory of its lone candidate in Punjab, Chaudhry Sarwar.
Meanwhile, a reliable source in the PPP claimed that it was KP CM Khattak who had approached the PPP’s provincial chapter for an understanding on a seat reserved for women. However, this claim was rejected by the PTI.
"This is unbelievable and seems to be a part of a conspiracy theory," PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn earlier when his views were sought on the PPP leader’s claim.
On the other hand, responding to Imran Khan’s allegations against his party, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar yesterday accused PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar of using unethical means to win the seat in Punjab.
"We negotiated with the parties (in KP) and secured their support. If we got two Senate seats with only seven MPAs, how did PTI win one seat in Punjab, when it could not?" Babar said.
PPP, PTI look to independent Baloch senators for support
In a bid to muster support for the post of Senate chairman, the PPP and PTI approached Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and newly elected independent Senators from the province, DawnNewsTV reported.
A PPP delegation, comprising Dr Qayyum Soomro and Faisal Kareem Kundi, flew in to Quetta from Peshawar on a special plane and met CM Bizenjo, seeking the support of six newly elected independent senators from Balochistan.
PTI's Jehangir Tareen telephoned freshly elected Anwar ul Haq Kakar and also asked for his support in the matter.
The PPP and PTI have been struggling to gain the support of the newly elected six independent senators from Balochistan as both the parties want to field a strong candidate for chairmanship of the Upper House.
However, the senators from Balochistan declined to join any political party.
"Our doors are open to all, but we are not going to join any political party", Kakar told DawnNewsTV on Sunday evening.
Instead, the independent senators demanded mainstream political parties give the slot of chairman Senate to Balochistan.
"This time, the chairman Senate should be from Balochistan to remove the sense of deprivation of our people", Sadiq Sanjrani, another independent senator said.
The PML-N suffered a major political blow from Balochistan during Senate elections. Despite having 21 legislators in the Balochistan Assembly, the former ruling party in the province failed to bag a single seat.
'Greed responsible for poor MQM performance'
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal on Sunday lashed out at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) alleging that the party's MPAs sold their votes and blamed their greed for the party's poor performance in the Senate election.
Only one MQM-P member, Barrister Farrogh Naseem, was elected into the Senate, bringing the party's total count to five seats.
Kamal, who has been embroiled in a feud with the MQM since his return to Pakistan, claimed that eight PSP leaders in the Sindh Assembly had rejected all the offers to sell their votes.
Had PSP members not voted for PML-F, the seat would also have fallen to the PPP, he claimed.
The PSP chief alleged that MQM-P lawmakers' differences with Dr Farooq Sattar's favoured candidate Kamran Tessori were being used as an excuse for horse-trading and selling of votes to the PPP.