ISLAMABAD  -  Defence Minister Pervez Khattak on Wednesday was elected chairman of the parliamentary committee formed to probe alleged rigging in the 2018 general election. According to officials, the committee unanimously elected Khattak as chairman. His name was proposed by former speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and seconded by PPP lawmaker Syed Naveed Qamar. The chairman-elect asked the treasury and opposition benches to nominate 8 members each to appoint a sub-committee with the mandate to frame terms of reference (ToRs) of the committee.

The first meeting of the committee was attended by MNAs Pervez Khattak, Shafqat Mahmood, Dr Shireen Mazari, Fawad Chaudhry, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Malik Aamir Dogar, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Syed Aminul Haque, Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Ahsan Iqbal, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Amir Haider Azam Khan and Abdul Wasey.

Senators Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Hidayatullah, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Usman Khan Kakar, Abdul Rehman Malik and Azam Khan Swati also attended the moot. The 30-member parliamentary committee was announced by the government on October 15 to probe alleged rigging. The committee will review allegations of irregularities in the last polls and will make recommendations to make the polling process more transparent.

The committee includes 15 lawmakers each from the government and opposition parties. The lower house of Parliament in September unanimously approved a resolution to form a committee to probe the opposition parties’ rigging claims during the July 25 general elections.

APP adds: Talking to media persons, Pervez Khattak said the committee would start its working to discuss whether objections on general elections 2018 were true or not. He said sub-committee would work on TORs for the main committee with timeframe of two week.

Talking to media persons, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that in its first meeting, Pervez Khattak had been elected as chairman of the parliamentary committee. He said the next meeting would discuss the TORs.

He said opposition was unaware of the role of the committee. “Now it’s up to the opposition to come up with facts to prove rigging.” Earlier, Parliamentary Committee on General Elections 2018 on Wednesday discussed in detail the mandate and objectives of the committee to get better results from the body.

Different suggestions were discussed which were presented from members of both government and opposition sides.

Later, chairing the meeting after election as chairman of the body, Pervez Khattak said the committee will collect the record of the objections on elections if any. He said four members from both government and opposition sides will be taken for sub-committee for working on TORs for main committee. He said that once sub-committee was formed, the main committee would give task to it. He assured that as a chairman of the main committee, he would perform his duty honestly.