Govt has accepted to include senators in committee probing poll rigging, says Khursheed Shah

September 27, 2018

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Pakistan Peoples Party Leader Khurshid Shah — File
Pakistan Peoples Party Leader Khurshid Shah — File

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Khursheed Shah on Thursday said the government has accepted the demand made by the opposition parties calling for the inclusion of senators in the parliamentary committee to be constituted for probing the alleged electoral rigging in the July 25 elections.

Shah made the revelation while talking to DawnNewsTV following a meeting with the National Assembly speaker, adding that the committee is expected to be formed once Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi returns form his foreign tour.

On September 18, the government and the opposition parties had agreed to form a committee to probe the allegations of rigging in the recently-held general elections.

Under the formula agreed upon during the NA debate, the committee will have equal representation from the government and the opposition sides and it will be headed by a person to be nominated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Moreover, both the sides had agreed at the time that since the issue of poll rigging was related to the elections for lower house of parliament, no senator would be made member of what would be called Special Committee of the National Assembly.

However, in a Senate discussion on the matter on Wednesday, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said that the Senate was the first house where the matter of rigging in elections had been raised and it had also been demanded that committee of the two houses be formed to investigate rigging complaints.

Rabbani said he had always tried to avoid confrontation between the two houses of parliament, but regretted that the National Assembly in its first sitting after presidential polls dealt a blow to the unity and supremacy of the parliament and instead of a parliamentary panel, a committee of the National Assembly had been formed.

PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi had also rejected the plea for exclusion of the Senate in the committee, saying these were elections to national and provincial assemblies and both the national and provincial assemblies formed the electoral college for Senate polls.

He also mentioned that PM Khan had promised to address all concerns of the opposition parties over polls and urged the government to fulfil its promise.