In the latest development in possible decisions that impact General Elections 2018, Imran Khan announced that PTI has taken action against 20 party MPA’s. Khan accused them of “participating in horsetrading” by “selling their votes” in last month’s senate elections.
جس طرح عمران خان نے آج پارٹی ارکان کے خلاف نام لے کر ایکشن لیا اسکی نظیر پاکستان کی سیاست میں نہیں ملتی#PTILeadsByExample pic.twitter.com/62YBaM3KsX
— PTI (@PTIofficial) April 18, 2018
These members were publically named and shamed by PTI and expelled from the party following the allegations. Khan has said that the accused will be given a chance to clarify. If they fail to provide satisfactory answers to Khan’s questions, the PTI leader has said their names will officially be submitted to the National Accountability Bureau.
The initial news of PTI lawmakers selling their votes came out in March. Around 17 lawmakers were found to have sold votes, thereby compromising the integrity of the election process and the power of the vote. Today, Khan’s expulsion of 20 lawmakers, is being lauded by many on social media. Particularly because this is being cited as one of the very rare instances where a political party has taken strong action against its own members.
The sale and purchase of votes for senate elections has always been a part of Pak politics. Pti was the only party to suggest reforms to eliminate this abhorrent practice and now the only one to take action against those who sold their votes #PTILeadsByExample
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) April 18, 2018
Well done Imran Khan – exposing party MPAs who sold their votes. Fighting corruption from within even tho at this time it may impact us in elections. #PTILeadsByExample
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) April 18, 2018
Expelling 20 MPAs on the allegation of vote-selling in the Senate right before the elections is a very courageous move, and is an act that looks beyond short-term benefit.
Thank you, PTI for doing the right thing (provided you go beyond the show-cause notices)…
— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) April 18, 2018
True to this Twitter user’s words, Khan has taken a bold step. Even though his party might not reap benefits in the short term. For the electoral process of the Upper house to be deemed null and void, a proper NAB inquiry will have to follow. And it is being assessed by most that it will take much longer to conclude a proper inquiry, by which time the general elections will already be underway. So, it may be true that this decision was not aimed to meet short-term goals. Rather it appeals to the long-term aim of ridding politics of corrupt officials.
While PTI officials and their die-hard supporters are applauding Khan for his move, some are criticising him for not addressing the problem within the party first.
They are lamenting Khan for defaming without proof, which opponents argue is making a joke out of PTI. Interestingly, two MPA’s from the list came forward and even took an oath, claiming they were not guilty in the situation.
Faisal Zaman, Fauzia Bibi, Javed Naseem, and Babar saleem officially denied the selling of votes in Senate elections charges by IK. Few more coming as well with there views. Political stunt by IK will fail Soon and his corrupt team including JKT and PK will be exposed soon too. pic.twitter.com/yAXN1VOyWX
— M Jamal S Kakakhel (@JSKakakhel) April 19, 2018
While further developments are underway, here is what those opposed to the decision are saying.
PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah said that the shamed MPA’s should take Khan to court. Interesting how he isn’t calling for an inquiry into the possible claims of corruption. He would rather score brownie points with the defamed lawmakers.
Named and shamed PTI lawmakers ‘should grab Imran Khan by the collar’: Rana Sanaullah – Pakistan – Read More https://t.co/MmvFTRsXlI pic.twitter.com/VkaBv31gnS
— Say Writers (@saywriters) April 19, 2018
A counter to #PTILeadsByExample was also quick to develop in the shape of #SelectiveJusticeRejected.
Targeting the leadership and workers of one political party is not why the justice system exists, Pmln is systematically being attacked #SelectiveJusticeRejected
— Saad Saleem Sheikh (@SaadSSheikh) April 19, 2018
Not sure how PTI expelling its lawmakers is an attack on PMLN. Or is this Twitter user deliberately ignoring what PTI just did?
Fake Khan is trying to save Ugly Face. The 20 MPAs were sold to Zardari with his full knowledge.#SelectiveJusticeRejected
— سرگودھا کا لیگی (@arain_pmln) April 19, 2018
Imran Khan dismissing 20 lawmakers has highlighted how political party affiliations will always override actual decisions that affect politics entirely. Case in point are those people who are reprimanding Khan simply because he is the leader of the opposition party. One has to question if other political party leaders such as Rana Sanaullah are worried that this decision will pressurize them to crack down on corrupt officials as well. Let’s hope it does. Even if there is some long-term political motive behind Khan’s decision in terms of garnering more votes in the upcoming elections, is it really too bad if it helps remove even one corrupt political from power?
*Feature Image Source: Dunya News*