Staff Reporter Islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the video of PTI MPAs vindicates his stance against corrupt practices in the country.
“The question is not about the timing of the video, but about what it has proved,” the PM said while addressing the media after attending a ceremony for the second phase of the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme at Kallar Syedan Tehsil in Rawalpindi.
He went on to add, “If I had this video earlier, I would have presented it as evidence in the court.” The premier noted that the opposition was supporting a corrupt system by opposing the open balloting, saying, Maulana Fazlur Rehman is the biggest beneficiary of that system.
He revealed that the price of one seat of the Senate is being set at Rs500million to Rs700million. “How is it possible that those who take the reins of power through money don’t seek more of it afterwards,” he questioned.
“The opposition would highly regret it if there was secret voting in the Senate,” PM said and added, “as for the government, it would only help them bag more votes.”
He was apparently responding to the notion that the open balloting was an attempt by the government to restrain its ministers from changing loyalties in the forthcoming Senate polls. Prime Minister Imran Khan lambasted the position parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement, saying they should be asked why they didn’t try to stop horse-trading in Senate elections despite being in power for 30 years.
“When the political leadership [of the opposition] knows that money is traded [for Senate elections], why didn’t they make an effort to change it [the system]?” questioned the prime minister. “Because they themselves make money from it,” he added. “These thieves who call themselves politicians and have made a union in the PDM to protect their corruption.”
The prime minister further said he himself had been offered money many times for a Senate seat “not just from one person but from many people”.
“Do we want to hold [Senate] elections according to this same system when we know there is a money market set with rates for politicians?” the premier questioned rhetorically. He asked why the PPP and PML-N had backtracked from their stance on open balloting when it was stated clearly in their Charter of Democracy.
“It is easier for the government to gain more members [in the Senate elections] than our seats” but despite that, the PTI was calling for open ballot, he said. “These same people [the opposition] will cry if the PTI gets more senators than its seats,” he alleged. During the ceremony, the prime minister announced that the scope of the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme would be expanded.