Islamabad – Staff Reporter:
An audio clip being reported as a conversation between Punjab MPA Ali Haider Gilani and Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah emerged shortly after a video of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son instructing a lawmaker on how his vote can be wasted in the Senate election went viral on social media.
In the audio, two people can be heard talking about offers of millions of rupees to PTI lawmakers ahead of the Senate polls.
Ali can allegedly be heard saying that he spoke to Shah, who asked him to bring down the “offer”. An assurance is given in the audio that development work will be done in constituencies as per the wishes of PTI lawmakers.
“We could carry out uplift projects worth around Rs100 million,” said a voice being attributed to Ali.
The son of the Senate candidate allegedly said it would be difficult to carry money if payments are made in cash as it would attract attention.
The same voice further said that ‘friends’ (PTI lawmakers) were standing with him and wanted to talk to the provincial information minister.
“Tell four of them that they would be taken care of,” another man responded. The voice is said to be of Shah.
The provincial information minister, however, says the voice is not his.
Shah said his voice is not in the audio clip and nor has he spoken to anyone.
Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Election Commission of Pakistan can confirm the voice of Shah within an hour.
The video scandal
Before the audio clip, a video of Ali giving his advice to PTI lawmakers on how to waste a Senate vote had gone viral.
He later held a press conference where he admitted it was him in the video, but refuted claims of buying Senate votes.
He said he had met a lot of people whilst campaigning for the Senate elections.
“All the NA members are our constituents,” he said. “All of them are honourable for us,” he said. Ali lashed out at the prime minister, saying that he had attempted to earn lawmakers’ loyalty by issuing development funds for them.
He said that he had met the PTI lawmakers to secure the vote for his father, adding that it was his right to do so by law. “Not just once, I will meet them a hundred times as it is my right to do so,” he said. “We have sought the ‘votes by conscience’ in every election. We don’t believe in buying or selling votes or securing them through intimidation,” he added.
Ali’s father is contesting the Senate elections against the PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from Islamabad.
Allegations in the video are baselessYusuf Raza Gilani
Responding to the controversial video, Yusuf Raza said the allegations levelled against his son are “baseless,” adding that those [who leaked the video] have no clue who is featured in it.
ECP says will investigate video ‘on merit’
Later, the ECP spokesperson said that they have noted the developments with concern and the video’s contents will be investigated “on merit”.