Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said on Tuesday that people opposing open ballot in Senate elections wanted continuation of the corrupt system against which Prime Minister Imran Khan declared a war.
The information minister made his remarks on Twitter where he further said that Pakistan was at an important juncture of history where a decision has to be made whether the public representatives reach the parliament on the basis of merit and capability or via "sale and purchase" of votes.
آج ہم پارلیمانی تاریخ کے اہم موڑ پر کھڑے ہیں۔جہاں یہ فیصلہ کرنا ہے کہ عوامی نمائندے اہلیت اور میرٹ کی بنیاد پر پارلیمان میں آئیں گے یا خرید و فروخت کے ذریعے ۔ اوپن بیلٹ کے مخالف ملک میں اْس کرپٹ نظام کا تسلسل چاہتے ہیں جس کے خلاف عمران خان نے اعلان جنگ کیا ہوا ہے۔— Senator Shibli Faraz (@shiblifaraz) February 16, 2021
Earlier, the minister stressed that "sale and purchase" of votes and horse-trading cannot serve the Constitution and democracy.
In a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle on February 8, the federal minister urged political parties and parliamentarians to support transparency in the election process.
He said that this would strengthen democracy and enhance the prestige of parliament.
He said that those who become members of the upper house by "investing money" would put the protection of personal interest before the people.
Shibli said that the mission of Prime Minister Imran Khan is to eradicate corruption from the country and ensure transparency. "The PTI will not back down in its struggle to achieve that goal."
The statement came at a time when President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday signed the Election Amendment Ordinance 2021 under which the upcoming Senate elections can be held through open ballot, triggering a debate in the country.
The opposition parties have raised their concern over the issue, saying that the government of PM Imran is trying to make the Senate elections controversial.
However, the opposition's hopes were dampened on Monday when Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed — while hearing the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam's (JUI-F) petition filed against the Election Amendment Ordinance — observed that no one can stop the government from promulgating the ordinance.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, during a press conference in Karachi earlier today, said that his party would participate in the elections despite it being an open ballot one but would challenge it in the court.