ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Rehman Malik Sunday said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif had abused the PPP leadership in the past so the party did not vote for him in the prime minister’s election last week.

Addressing a news conference here, Malik said Sharif preferred to meet Maulana Fazlur Rehman before the PPP. “He ignored us and never consulted us. He is responsible for the PPP’s decision not to vote for him. He is enemy of our leadership,” the Senator said.

The PPP leader, who was nominated by the Senate as coordinator to monitor and oversee the general elections 2018, urged newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan to constitute a committee as soon as possible to investigate the complaints regarding general elections 2018.

Malik said that the parliament had the right to oversee and monitor the elections therefore the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was nominated by the Senate of Pakistan to oversee and monitor General Elections.

He said the committee so far has held seven meetings to oversee and monitor the general elections out of which four meetings held before elections and three meetings after the election.

He said during the meetings security arrangements on the polling day were reviewed and considered the complaints regarding the irregularities on Election Day.

Malik said that in this regard, the committee had submitted second progress report to the Upper House enlisting all the components and progress achieved so far.

He said that the committee will again meet soon to review the reports of Election Commission of Pakistan, National Database and Registration Authority, Cabinet Division and all other stakeholders regarding complaints and reservations of the political parties.

Senator Malik said the Senate Standing Committee on Interior had done a great job by investigating the complaints technically as we had completed almost 80 per cent of the work and we are working over it day and night. He added that his committee will continue the parliamentary investigations as we are very much concerned about the failure of Result Transmission System and other irregularities reported.

The lawmaker said that the committee has already sought reports from ECP on very specific points.  “What was the cause of the delay in election results? The failure of RTS, which remained out of order for a considerable time creating doubts in the minds of the public. Was there any guarantee given by the Service Provider for accurate functioning of the RTS systems. Has the technical team, the service provider and the IT Department of the ECP evaluated or detected any hacking or virus attempt on the RTS systems,” he asked the ECP.

He urged the election authorities to fix responsibility on those who were responsible for uninterrupted, non-stopped and smooth functioning of the RTS systems.

Malik said the Senate committee has also sent letters to various stakeholders to ascertain the exact reasons which led to create a chaos and controversies on the legitimacy and authenticity of General Elections.

He said a letter on the Failure of RTS and Result Management System was sent to the ECP on July 26 and in its compliance, the ECP has sent a letter to Cabinet Division on August 2 to hold an inquiry on failure of RTS and RMS systems.

He added that separate letters on discovery of stamped ballot papers from dustbins, roadsides and other public places were also written to the police chiefs and Home Secretaries of all provinces on August 6which will be analyzed and reviewed in the upcoming meeting of the committee.

The Senator said the entire findings and observations of Senate Standing Committee on Interior was the preliminary inquiry into the complaints and reservations of political parties, media and general public on holding free, fair and transparent General Elections, 2018.

He added this was parliamentary probe duly authority by the Senate House through a letter on July 12 by the Senate Secretariat on direction of the Chairman Senate of Pakistan on the floor of the House. He added the Parliamentary Probe Committee comprised 18 Senators.

Senator Malik said the Committee had worked very hard for compilation of the Preliminary Report on General Elections, 2018 and the “Progress Report of the Committee on Free, Fair and Transparent Elections, Security of General Elections, 2018.”

He said that the report shall be made public once it is placed before the House in its upcoming session and the report will be presented in the House as second inquiry report for kind information of the Senate.

Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the committee has finalised the Terms of Reference to know about the technical failure of RTS as there were reports that RTS was functioning well.

He suggested that a parliamentary committee should be made consisting of its members from both houses of parliament to investigate into allegations.

The PPP leader felicitated Imran Khan on becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan and wished him the best of luck. Malik hoped that Imran Khan will fulfil the promises he had made with the people of Pakistan during election campaign.

He applauded PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his historic and mature speech in the National Assembly on August 17, 2018 and said he was proud of his young chairman.

To a question, he said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mindset was well exposed by Indian media that was furious over Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan.

 

SHAFQAT ALI