Senators demand probe for fair elections, respect of public mandate

Senate
ISLAMABAD, Feb 20 (APP):The members of the Upper House of the Parliament on Tuesday demanded the forum to hold a probe of the general elections results to ensure free and fair polls and establish respect for public mandate.
The Senators while addressing the adjournment motion moved by Senators Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Mushtaq Ahmed, Syed Ali Zafar and others regarding the situation arising out of the results of General Elections-2024 as a matter of national importance.
Senator Saif Ullah Abro of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded that there were 858 total seats of national and provincial assemblies that had almost 160,000 From-45 (essential document to tabulate a provincial or general assembly constituency poll result) that should be verified through audit to establish the credibility of the General Elections-2024 as free and fair polls.
“The victor of the polls after the probe should be announced at the floor of the Senate and the PTI will accept that party’s mandate who soever and I make this commitment on behalf of my party,” he said.
Senator Taj Haider of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) said the country was at the crossroads of history with two clear pathways one leading to violence and chaos and the other to unity and wisdom whereas the latter is propitious.
He urged that it was high time for all the political parties to give up emotionalism and opt for rationalism in their political struggles.
Senator Haider added that the PPPP had submitted over 60 complaints in writing to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and all with proofs including video evidences claiming polling of fake votes.
“We request the other political parties to abstain from violence and take legal course of action for redressal of their grievances,” he added.
Senator Aon Abbas of PTI wished all the best to the retiring senior senators.
He thanked the senators from the treasury benches for supporting PTI on the motion that sought production orders of detained PTI Senator Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, independent, said the Elections held on February 8th were historic yet contentious as it had transformed the political scenario and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), PPP and PTI has emerged as the largest political parties of the country and they should now unite for the country.
He proposed a three-point way forward citing general amnesty for all political prisoners including missing persons of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), inclusion of all into the political process and formulation of a national government to safeguard democracy and the political system to circumvent any crisis-like situation.
PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said that there was no doubt about the fact that the history of elections in the country was unpleasant.
Inviting the PTI for dialogue, he emphasized the importance of a constructive approach for the better future of the country.
He urged PTI leadership to refrain from engaging in politics of hate.
PTI Senator Walid Iqbal said that the shutting down of mobile and internet services during elections had invited criticism from the world.
He said that the caretaker government and the election commission would have to prove that there was no “malice” in this regard.
He further asked about the whereabouts of the Form-45, noting that the chief election commissioner had directed to release all results till 2am on election night.
Jamaat-i-Islami’s Senator Mushtaq Ahmed has said that mobile and internet services were shut down. “At that moment, it was evident that polls were not free, fair or transparent,” he said.
He said that X formerly Twitter had been shut down on services.
“Why were internet and mobile services shut down on Feb 8 polls? Why is X being restricted for three days?”
He said that the shutdown of X was causing educational harm and was an attack on people’s digital rights.
He called for the restoration of all social media platforms.
In addition, Senators Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Ali Zafar, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen and Mohammad Humayun Mohmand, Hidayatullah Khan, Behramand Khan Tungi, Muhammad Akram, Zeeshan Khanzada, Umer Farooq, Prof Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, and Fawzia Arshad have also raised serious questions about the fairness and transparency of the general elections, calling for an investigation to assess their legitimacy.
However, Caretaker Minister for Human Rights, Khalil George was not allowed by the members of the House for winding up the discussion after Senator Sadia Abbasi of PML-N and Senator Saif Ullah Abro opposed his take and challenged his mandate to present his performance before the House. Senator Abbasi pointed out the quorum which resulted into the adjournment of the session till Friday till 10:30 am, whereas the motion was disposed of.
APP Services