PTI MPAs deny horse-trading charge

Updated 20 Apr 2018

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PTI lawmaker Fozia Bibi holds the holy Quran while addressing a press conference in Peshawar on Thursday. — White Star
PTI lawmaker Fozia Bibi holds the holy Quran while addressing a press conference in Peshawar on Thursday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Rejecting the party chief’s horse-trading charge against them, some PTI MPAs have insisted that they hadn’t sold their votes in the recent Senate elections.

They claimed that they’d fallen victim to conspiracies within the party and were ready for any impartial probe.

Addressing separate news conferences at the Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, PTI MPAs Fozia Bibi from Chitral and Meraj Humayun said they had supported PTI candidates in the Senate elections.

Say ready to face impartial probe

Without naming names, Fozia Bibi alleged that some people within the party had conspired against her and were involved in her character assassination. She said she had planned to sue some online publications for filing false reports against her.

The MPA said she had written a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan seeking probe into the matter.

Editorial: Imran's exposition of MPAs is laudable but more must be done to eliminate horse-trading

She alleged that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and his ‘cronies had ensnared’ her for own face saving on the matter.

Ms Fozia demanded of the party chairman to refer the matter to the National Accountability Bureau for probe and said those found guilty of horse-trading should be punished. She said she was ready to prove her innocence on oath.

MPA Meraj Humayun also rejected the horse-trading allegation and said she and her family and friends were shocked by the charge, which also damaged her political reputation.

“I joined the PTI after the Senate elections, which was held on March 3, and therefore, the PTI has no right to level such serious corruption allegation against me because I was not bound to poll vote to the PTI candidate at that time,” she said. She wondered why her name was put on the PTI panel.

“I had voted for the PTI candidate due to the alliance between the PTI and QWP in the Senate polls. I had not only polled vote to QWP candidate Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli but also voted for the PTI candidate,” she said. Ms Meraj said the PTI leadership better had called her for clarification on the matter. She said she would decide the future course of action after receiving the show cause notice from the PTI.

CONSPIRACY HATCHED: PTI MPA from Haripur Faisal Zaman on Thursday denied horse-trading charge and said he didn’t sell his vote in the Senate elections and instead he voted for the party nominee, Ayub Afridi.

During a news conference at the Haripur Press Club, he held a copy of the Holy Quran in his hands and said on oath that he didn’t sell his vote in Senate polls.

He said the horse-trading charge had virtually destroyed his political career and family’s honour.

“I belong to a well-off family, which spends millions of rupees monthly on charity projects in Ghazi tehsil. It is against logic and my conscience that I would have opted to sell my conscience to someone for mere 20-30 million rupees,” he claimed, adding that he was neither informed about any inquiry nor asked to prove his innocence.

Mr Zaman said if he was accused of selling vote, the party had every right to question him but he was kept in the dark about the news conference in which the party chief declared him as vote seller. He said a conspiracy was hatched against him by a lobby working within the PTI and a couple of people from Haripur.

He said he would prove his innocence and would even move court for the purpose if the need arose.

The MPA denied that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was among those, who had orchestrated the vilification campaign against MPAs. He said if he failed to satisfy party leadership, he would consult supporters and contest the next elections as an independent candidate.

MPA TO MOVE COURT: MPA Wajiuzaman Khan has denied the Senate election horse-trading charge against him and announced that he would take PTI chief Imran Khan to the court of law for defamation in that respect.

“I consider politics as worship and have never used my political position to make illegal money. I am going to the court against the false horse-trading allegation of PTI chairman Imran Khan against me,” he told reporters in Oghi on Thursday.

The MPA, who recently joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, said Imran Khan was surrounded by those, who were directly involved in the Senate election horse-trading.

“Imran Khan is not ready to listen to the truth and is busy leveling baseless allegations against others,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2018