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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Communications, Murad Saeed, on Saturday said that the incumbent government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to end horse-trading and the use of money in the Senate elections.

Speaking at a presser here, he said that late ex-premier Benazir Bhutto wanted to bring transparency in the Senate elections but unfortunately, her political party overlooked her wish.

He said that the PTI had expelled 20 of its MPAs after they were found guilty of taking money in 2018 Senate polls, but the opposition did nothing except the rhetoric of so-called democracy, and was practically doing nothing for strengthening the system.

Saeed said that the opposition was involved in money laundering, corruption, and illegal occupation on state lands, adding those people had come in politics through the use of money, and wanted to make money by remaining in politics.

"We want an end to horse-trading; we want a lay man to make it to the Senate, but these people are opposing it as it will end their monopoly over the Senate elections," he added.

About opposition MNAs' protests in the National Assembly last week, he said that they were involved in land-grabbing, which included state lands, parks, etc, and when the lands were retrieved, they made a hue and cry.

He said that the prime minister wanted transparency in the elections, as he came into power after 22 years long struggle unlike his rivals, Sharifs and Zardaris, adding PM Khan had a history of introducing a neutral umpire in cricketing world, and again it would be Imran Khan, who would ensure transparent elections - both in the Senate and the general elections.

"The opposition will never want free and fair elections as their sole purpose is to get an NRO which the prime minister is not going to give them no matter how hard they try or resort to blackmailing," he added.

The minister called upon the opposition to focus on issues confronting the masses, saying this may help them in getting the attention of the masses or else masses are aware of their intentions as all they want is: getting an NRO.

He maintained that it was only Imran Khan who could end use of money in politics especially those filthy rich becoming senators through use of money, adding people like Nawaz Sharif and Zardari would never support open balloting in the Senate elections as their monopoly would end with transparency in elections.

He also came down hard on the opposition for what he said the opposition kept "vested interest" on top, when the parliament was going to do legislations over Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which shows their ill intent for the country.

He said that the way the opposition leadership were "disgraced" after they took to the streets through the platform of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), thinking the people might follow them, but had to "kiss the dust" as people knew these people had nothing to do with masses' issues except saving their ill-gotten wealth.

Saeed said that the opposition had given a deadline that the government would end on January 31, 2021 besides threatening "throwing" their resignations in the face of the NA speaker, but the glorious day never came as they had to come back to the house "red-faced" except the one - Nawaz Sharif - who had gone to London to "get some medicine".

He said the government had taken various steps for the welfare of the masses, which included health cards, Ehsaas programme, Langarkhanas, and low-cost housing schemes for the poor.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021