ISLAMABAD: PDM’s joint candidate from Islamabad Syed Yousfa Raza Gilani has said that my son’s video is being misrepresented in the media.
Talking to media in Islamabad along with party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he asked whom the government was afraid of and said that PTI should control its members.
Yousaf Raza Gillani said that it was their right to ask for votes, he even wrote to the Prime Minister himself asking for his vote. We want the parliament to be supreme; the Prime Minister did not even shake hands with anyone before but is holding meetings today.
He said that after the opinion of the Supreme Court on the Senate election, the ministers have started giving their opinion. We are against dealing but all elections are held by secret ballot, any changes in the procedure would require legal amendments.
It is pertinent to mention here that according to a Dawn report,
a video surfaced on Tuesday showing the son of Yousuf Raza Gilani, the joint opposition’s most prominent candidate for the polls, explaining to lawmakers how to cancel their votes.
The government immediately cried foul, demanding that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declare Gilani ineligible after the emergence of the video that it said showed “votes being bought”. It also filed a reference with the ECP seeking Gilani’s disqualification for being involved in “corrupt practices”.
PPP leader and former prime minister Gilani, who hails from Multan, has been fielded as a joint candidate of the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement from Islamabad. His lone competition for the general seat will be Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh of the PTI.
In the night-time video of about one-and-a-half minutes, first shared by ARY News, Gilani’s son Ali Haider Gilani can be heard apparently explaining through specific details to at least two lawmakers how they can waste their votes during the election.
The faces of none of the men in the video can be clearly seen and it is not clear whom Ali Haider is talking to or who recorded and leaked the video.
Within minutes of the video being broadcast, the various chapters of the ruling PTI and government spokespersons started tweeting about it, saying the clip had “exposed” Gilani as well as the opposition.
“Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son caught buying votes in the Senate and giving away tricks to waste votes. This is the character of the PDM and their joint candidate,” a tweet from PTI’s official account said.
Speaking to media in Islamabad, Ali Haider accepted that he was in the leaked video, but denied he was engaging in a deal to buy votes for his father.
Addressing a press conference outside the ECP offices in Islamabad, Minister For Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the video showed Ali Haider explaining to PTI MNAs how to waste their votes.
‘I’ve done nothing wrong’
In his presser, Ali Haider said the MNAs in the video belonged to the PTI and were his “friends”.
“They called me [and] I have met them several times. As a candidate’s son, it is my right to seek votes,” he said, adding that his family only asked for the “vote of conscience” and did not engage in the buying and selling of votes.
Haider said the MNAs which numbered “more than two” told him they wanted to vote for Gilani and not Hafeez Shaikh. “They asked me what should we do if our party is suspicious of us and tries to take away our ballot. […] I told them if they are given an already marked ballot, they should also mark Gilani’s name and put it in the ballot box so that vote neither goes to Hafeez Sheikh nor [Gilani],” he added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday expressed hope for the victory of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) member and joint candidate of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Yousaf Raza Gillani in the Senate elections.
Talking to media in Islamabad, the PML-N leader said that the opposition parties have welcomed Supreme Courts (SC) opinion on presidential reference. A strong role of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has emerged after the opinion of the apex court, he added.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the Senate polls will be conducted in a traditional way as the electoral process can only be changed after consultation with the members of the Parliament.
The PML-N leader further said that the countrys politics will take a new turn after tomorrows elections. We cannot expect justice from such a government that is involved in vote theft, he stated.