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PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Shibli Faraz here Saturday said that the government is making efforts to ensure transparency in upcoming Senate elections; but opposition to open balloting in the Senate elections by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is beyond understating.

Talking to media men in Peshawar, he said a transparent electoral system strengthens democratic system in the country but the opposition doesn’t want to abolish the culture of cash from Senate elections as they failed to bring transparency in their ten-year term.

Provincial Ministers Shaukat Yousafzai, Taimour Jhagra and Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Kamran Bangash were also present on the occasion.

The Minister said the government is trying to bring forward talented and skilled people in politics and PTI parliamentarians will vote for its party candidate in the Senate elections.

About the recent video scandal of horse trading, he said a committee has been constituted which will probe the matter in a transparent manner.

Senator Shibli Faraz said the government was striving to devise an inclusive mechanism so that no one could dare to raise a finger on credibility and impartiality of election results in future. He said free, fair and transparent elections provided moral ground to flourish democracy and strengthen democratic institutions and the government’s electoral reforms would help ensure credibility, impartiality and transparency of elections including senate polls.

Senator Shibili Faraz said instead of supporting the government’s efforts to introduce electoral reforms, the opposition was creating hurdles by opposing open balloting in senate election, which tantamount to encouraging horse-trading and corruption during the election process.

He said opposition parties including PPP and PML-N who ruled the country after 2008 and 2013 elections for 10 years had completely failed to prepare any mechanism for electoral reforms opening room for horse-trading, corruption and sale and purchase votes during senate elections.

The minister said opposition was still working against electoral reforms that were aimed to eliminate chances of corruption, sale and purchase of votes and horse trading in senate elections as witnessed in the past. Despite having power, influence and resources, he said the government had offered open balloting to opposition during senate polls to eliminate corruption and horse trading but response of opposition towards the key legislation was pathetic.

“I ask a question how a political party having representation of few members in the parliament or a provincial assembly will secure a seat in senate election,” he said, adding opposition did not take lesson from the past and would try to purchase political loyalties in a bid to get representation in the upper house.

He put a question that whether people would make their children to become a role model like Prime Minister Imran Khan or want them to become Nawaz Sharif or Asif Zardari, adding every patriotic Pakistani would certainly like his children to follow the footprints of the prime minister who was the only leader having highest level of honesty, integrity and dedication to take the country’s to new height of prosperity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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