PTI up in arms after video appears of Gilani’s son screening lawmakers how to abandon Senate vote

PTI up in arms after video appears of Gilani's son screening lawmakers how to abandon Senate vote
Photo: Dawn News Screen Grab

Hours earlier lawmakers across the state are set to go to polls in the much-expected Senate elections 2021, a video raised on Tuesday screening the son of Yousuf Raza Gilani, the joint opposition’s most protruding contender for the polls, amplificating to lawmakers how to abandon their votes.

The government directly sobbed profane, demanding that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announce Gilani unqualified after the appearance of the video that it said showed “votes being bought”.

PPP leader and former prime minister Gilani, who bursts from Multan, has been returned as a joint candidate of the opposition coalition Pakistan Democratic Movement from Islamabad. His sole struggle for the overall seat will be Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh of the PTI.

In the night-time film of about one-and-a-half minutes, first public by ARY News, Gilani’s son Ali Haider Gilani can be caught deceptively amplificating through precise facts to at least two lawmakers how they can waste their votes throughout the election.

The appearances of none of the men in the video can be evidently seen and it is not clear whom Ali Haider is speaking to or who logged and trickled the video. Within minutes of the video being transmission, the numerous episodes of the ruling PTI and government spokespersons started tweeting about it, saying the clip had “uncovered” 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.

Talking to media in Islamabad, Ali Haider acknowledged that he was in the leaked video, but deprived of that he was engaging in an agreement to bargain votes for his father.

Speaking to a press conference outside the ECP headquarters in Islamabad, Minister For Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the video presented Ali Haider explaining to PTI MNAs how to abandon their votes. The minister alleged after Ali Haider’s “confession” that the video was factual, it was the ECP’s duty to declare Gilani disqualified to contest Wednesday’s elections and file a reference against him under Articles 218, 219 and 220 and the Supreme Court’s fresh judgement on the presidential reference looking for open ballot in the Senate polls. He said the government wanted to file a reference against Gilani but because the ECP offices had shut for the day, the reference would be referred to the commission on Wednesday morning.

“But notwithstanding our reference, I hope the chief election commissioner will take notice of this video,” Chaudhry added.

In his presser, Ali Haider said he had been meeting several people as fragment of his father’s election drive because it was the right of a candidate to ask their voters — MNAs in this case — for votes.

He suspected that Prime Minister Imran Khan had “bought votes” by doling out resources worth Rs500 million each among government lawmakers. He called upon the ECP to take notice of this “bribe”.