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PESHAWAR: With his party deciding its course of action regarding the election for the Senate chairman today (Friday), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has said serious efforts will be made to stop the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz from heading the Upper House of Parliament.

“We will make all-out-efforts to block the election of the PML-N nominee as the Senate chairman but the issue is that we can’t go along with the Pakistan People’s Party,” he told reporters here on Thursday after launching the party’s membership campaign.

The PTI chief said the PML-N had been making efforts for the last one and a half years to elect its nominee as the Senate chairman to protect Sharif family.

“Our apprehensions are that the PML-N will frame laws to provide legal protection to the ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and his family from corruption cases,” he said.

Says party doesn’t have solid evidence of horse-trading

Mr Imran said his party would discuss the strategy on Friday about how to stop the PML-N from winning the election for the Senate chairman,” he said, adding that the problem was that the PTI can’t go along with the PPP.

He said the best solution of the problem was that the next Senate chairman should ne from Balochistan.

When asked about the horse-trading allegations against PTI lawmakers in the Senate polls, the PTI chief said the party did not have solid proofs of its members selling votes.

He said each MPA was offered Rs4 million to sell vote in the Senate polls.

“We cannot expel MPAs from the party merely on the information circulated on social media. The party won’t be able to produce concrete evidence (of horse-trading) if these MPAs move the court,” he said.

The PTI and its allies including Qaumi Watan Party and JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq had lost three seats in the recent Senate elections.

After the election results were announced, Mr Imran directed Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to hold inquiry against the MPAs suspected of being involved in horse-trading.

He had announced that if horse-trading allegations were proved, the culpable MPAs would be expelled from the party.

CM Khattak had presented the inquiry report to Imran Khan on Tuesday reportedly naming 13 PTI lawmakers, including women, who sold votes in Senate polls.

The PTI sources said senior leaders had advised Imran Khan not to open ‘more fronts’ for him as the disclosure of names of the culpable MPAs would create legal complications.

“We don’t know who received money in the Senate polls,” the PTI chief said, adding that inquiry was still in progress and action would be taken against MPAs found to be involved in horse-trading.

Mr Imran said he had been opposing indirect elections for the Senate and had proposed direct elections to stop illegal practices.

He said the allegations of horse-trading discredited democracy and institutions and called for direct Senate elections.

The PTI chief launched membership campaign, which will continue for two months.

He visited camps to begin the campaign. He also addressed women workers of party and urged them to go from door to door.

Mr Imran said the party would use that data in the selection of candidates for the next general elections and preparation of manifesto, too.

He said the next general elections were very important for the country and like previous general elections. women voters could play a vital role in the coming polls.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2018