Govt vows to ensure transparency in upcoming Senate polls


ISLAMABAD – Planning Minister Asad Umar said on Tuesday the PTI government aimed at curbing horse trading in order to ensure transparency in upcoming Senate elections.

While referring to the recent viral video that that shows some lawmakers receiving cash allegedly before Senate election 2018, he, during a presser, commented that this was why the government wanted reforms in the Senate election process.

Umar said that the video was from 2018 when some lawmakers from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sold their votes before the Senate elections.

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“This is not new as we have been hearing it for 20-30 years,” he commented.

The planning minister said it is an open secret that horse-trading has been a tradition in the history of Senate elections in Pakistan.

He said that the PTI wanted to end such practice as it had also tabled a constitutional amendment for open ballot, besides filing a presidential reference with the Supreme Court on the matter. He announced that the government will respect the decision of the top court.

He recalled that the opposition parties, especially the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party, had too promised in the Charter of Democracy to hold Senate elections in a transparent manners, but now they were opposing it.

Speaking on the occasion, Syed Shibli Faraz said the cabinet has approved extension of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement for three months with effect from Thursday.

He said the cabinet also expressed displeasure on the unscheduled load shedding, and asked the authorities concerned to end this on urgent basis.

He said the meeting was apprised that effective measures have been taken to curb smuggling of petrol, which resulted in ending a loss of Rs120 billion in revenue.

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