LAHORE - A top PTI leader has claimed that government during the talks with his party at the Convention Centre agreed to employ the services of ISI and MI for a probe into 2013 poll rigging allegations.

Arif Alvi, PTI senior member and Imran Khan’s close aide, told The Nation on Thursday: The government team during the talks at Convention Centre for devising a mechanism for the vote probe had agreed on terms of reference with PTI delegation.

One of the major points of the agreement, he said, was employing the services of country’s top intelligence agencies, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI). Alvi, who was representing PTI during the talks with government team added: The likely body for poll rigging probe was to be named as Special Investigation Team (SIT).

It was agreed by the government team that the prime minister would request the Chief Justice of Pakistan for constituting an inquiry commission for poll rigging, while the SIT comprising ISI and MI as top investigators would work under the Supreme Court inquiry commission, the PTI leader held.

He said, “PTI had agreed to give concession to the ruling party that poll rigging investigations would be carried out under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but to counterbalance this concession we had demanded ISI and MI role in the investigations.”

When asked if it was not the prerogative of a Supreme Court inquiry commission to select investigators of its choice, he insisted: The government agreed employing the top intelligence services for the poll rigging probe and it is doable according to the Constitution.

PTI leader revealed: We had also agreed that details of ISI and MI inclusion in a likely team of poll rigging investigations would not be made public. I am making this information public because the government is not serious in pursuing a negotiated settlement of the issue.

Making another disclosure, Alvi said: Two top officers of ISI and MI were present among the government team during the parleys at Convention Centre. The government involved the two top agencies during the talks then why is it hesitant for their role in the poll rigging probe?

Federal Information Minister, Pervez Rasheed, who represented government team during the parleys, when contacted said, “No terms of reference were agreed between the two sides during the meetings in which I had participated at the Convention Centre.”

“The government cannot suggest the Chief Justice who has the power to constitute an inquiry commission on this matter that the commission should essentially employ the services of some certain agencies. The prime minister can only make a request to the Chief Justice for the constitution of the commission and cannot go any further on this issue,” he said.

Quoting statement of PTI chief in which he alleged an MI brigadier of interfering in the election process, Pervez remarked: It is highly astonishing that PTI is demanding involving the intelligence agency (MI) for alleged poll rigging investigations at one hand, while on the other hand accusing the same for influencing the electoral process.”

The minister added: The PTI would make more accusations against the intelligence agencies if they could not find anything favourable to it in their investigation. He questioned: Why the PTI abandon the track of negotiated settlement of the issue if the claims of its leaders regarding an agreement with the government are true?

He claimed: The PTI wanted to make the security services controversial by demanding their role in the matters not relating to state security. It had already made efforts from Islamabad container to do the same with the Parliament and Judiciary.

About the participation of ISI and MI officers during the parleys at Convention Centre, he said, “I have no information concerning this claim of the PTI. I can confirm the names of the political figures from both sides during the meetings at Convention Centre.”