ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on General Elections 2018, formed to probe rigging allegations in the July 25 polls, has nominated Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood as convener of its sub-committee tasked to frame Terms of Reference (TOR).
The special committee’s meeting which was chaired by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak also approved names of eight members for its sub-committee, including four each from the treasury and opposition benches.
Besides Mehmood, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Barrister Ali Muhammad Saif and Sarfaraz Bugti will represent the government while Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Naveed Qamar, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Rana Sana Ullah, National Party President Mir Hasil Bizenjo and Muttahida Majlise-e-Amal’s Maulana Abdul Wasay were selected from the opposition.
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The sub-committee will start working from November 14 and devise TORs for investigation within two weeks, after approval of which the investigation of rigging will be conducted.
Mehmood also informed the panel members that once TORs were finalised and submitted to the main committee, it might approach professionals and NADRA experts for further opinion.
After the meeting, Chairman Pervaiz Khattak told the media that after the approval of TORs from the sub-committee, the parliamentary committee would begin investigating the allegations of rigging as per the formulated terms. He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other institutions would also be called.
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“We haven’t done anything fraudulently nor will we do it in the future,” said Khattak, adding that decisions would be made as per the authority of the committee. “These authorities will be defined by the committee in TORs,” he assured.
Meanwhile, opposition member and PML-N leader Rana Sana Ullah said, “Every voter is witness to rigging and we will bring all proofs against rigging before the committee.” He added that if the government did not put unwarranted hindrances, all evidences would come before everyone.
Moreover, senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik said the TORs committee had to decide the mandate only.
“It’s important to know whether the committee’s authority is that of a standing-committee only… because standing committees can only pass recommendations and don’t have implementation rights,” he said, adding, “Since this committee comprises representatives from both the Houses, it must present its report in a joint session of Parliament.”
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