Three-member body to investigate leaked video, submit report to premier within 30 days
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday formed a three-member committee to probe a video allegedly showing lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf receiving bribes to vote against party lines in the 2018 Senate elections.
Comprising Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and Adviser to the P.M. on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, the committee has been directed to conduct a thorough probe into the incident and submit a report with recommendations on how the government should proceed against the culprits in line with electoral and criminal laws. A notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said the committee had 30 days to complete its investigation and submit a report.
Speaking to Geo News, Chaudhry said the committee would investigate all lawmakers that could be seen in the video but clarified that it would not investigate allegations of the money being disbursed at the behest of then-Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak. Several of the accused lawmakers have alleged the video was shot at the Speaker’s House in Peshawar, adding that they had been directed to receive the money for “campaigning” by Khattak.
“We do not need to seriously consider the allegations of [accused] corrupt,” Chaudhry said, adding the focus of the probe would be on who benefited from the alleged bribery and who had provided the funds.
In 2018, the PTI dismissed 20 lawmakers from the party, claiming they had “sold their votes” to rival parties. The leaked video shows 2 of those 20—Zahid Durrani and Obaidullah Mayar—who have both alleged they were directed to take the money by Khattak.
The video also shows Sultan Muhammad—then part of the Qaumi Watan Party—who had been appointed the provincial law minister after joining the PTI prior to the 2018 general elections. He has been asked to resign following the leaking of the video.