Tuesday Mar 02, 2021
The video of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's son, Ali Haider Gilani, allegedly instructing a lawmaker on how his vote can be wasted, has surfaced on social media.
Gilani is contesting the Senate elections against the PTI's Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from Islamabad. His son, Haider Ali Gillani, is a Punjab MPA.
It isn't possible to make out who Gilani is speaking to allegedly about wasting the Senate vote.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill urged the ECP to take notice against Gilani.
Gill held a press conference, lashing out at the former prime minister. "We all know how a necklace was stolen from a Turkish princess," he said. "You saw how one of his children was also involved in the ephedrine scandal."
Gill said that from the video, it can be made out that Gilani's son is telling lawmakers to either "vote for us or waste your vote".
"This video of corruption has once again proven that Imran Khan was right when he said this mafia will never let a transparent Senate election take place," he said.
He urged the ECP to take action against Gilani according to its Constitution, adding that the electoral body was an independent institution and the government was ready to provide it with the necessary assistance.
The prime minister's aide called for strict implementation of the Supreme Court of Pakistan's recent opinion on the open balloting of Senate election, saying that otherwise, the country will have to suffer such instances of humiliation in the days to come.
Ali Haider Gilani responded to the allegations by holding a news conference, saying that 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 Haider Gilani lashed out at the prime minister, saying that he had attempted to earn lawmakers' loyalty by issuing development funds for them.
Gilani 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.
The former prime minister's son said he was asking for votes on the basis of "love and conscience" from the PTI MPAs, adding that a lot of them wanted to vote for his father instead of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
Ali Haider Gilani said the PTI lawmakers told him they wanted to vote for Yousaf Raza Gilani but were worried the PTI leadership would check their votes.
"They asked me what to do if their votes were checked," claimed Ali Haider Gilani. "To which I told them to fold their votes while casting them, which would benefit Yousaf Raza Gilani," he added.
Ali Haider Gilani said he didn't know who had recorded the video.
Replying to a tweet, Ali Haider Gilani also wrote that he was approached by many MNA's on several occasions because they were "not happy with the candidate selection of the PTI."
"It’s their right to vote against their party candidate if they will. It’s a pertinent question as to if this is the govt’s last shot at saving face!" he wrote.
Responding to the controversial video, Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the allegations levelled against his son are "baseless," adding that those [who leaked the video] have no clue who is featured in it.
Later, the Election Commission's spokesperson said that the ECP has noted the developments with concern and the video's contents will be probed "on merit".