ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan on Wednesday accused his political rivals of buying and selling provincial lawmakers in Punjab ahead of the chief minister’s elections while asking the judiciary to probe the matter.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party scored a massive victory in recent by-elections held in the province and emerged as the single largest faction after winning 15 out of 20 Punjab Assembly seats. The electoral performance made many analysts predict that the PTI was once again in a position to form government in the country’s most densely populated federating unit.
However, Khan maintained in a Twitter post on Wednesday that his political opponents were using financial resources to undermine his party’s majority, as he singled out former president Asif Ali Zardari for being the “architect” of the policy while adding “he [should] be jailed.”
“This is not only an attack on our democracy but also on moral fabric of our society,” he wrote on a social media website. “Had SC [the Supreme Court] taken action & debarred these turncoats for life it would have acted as deterrent.”
Referring to the no-confidence motion that led to the fall of his administration earlier this year, Khan said Zardari was trying to “steal” the mandate of the people of Punjab by using the “stolen money from Sindh.”
“Isn’t destruction of our democracy, Constitution & nation’s morality a fit case for Suo Moto action,” he asked the judiciary.
Khan’s other party members also accused the coalition government of trying to bribe their PTI colleagues.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, former information minister and a close aide of ex-PM Khan, said some PTI lawmakers from Punjab had submitted affidavits in the Supreme Court, saying they were being bribed to switch loyalties.
Hussain particularly named the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Attaullah Tarar, for trying to buy PTI leaders.
However, Tarar denied the allegation in a news conference he held later in the day.