Wednesday, May 31, 2023
A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Wednesday issued bailable arrest warrant for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Ali Haider Gillani in Senate election rigging case over his failure to appear before the court.
Additional Sessions Judge Umeed Ali Baloch heard the case related to alleged horse-trading in 2021 Senate elections.
Ahead of the Senate elections, a video emerged on social media purportedly showing Ali Haider, son of former prime minister and then joint opposition’s candidate for Senate chairman Yousuf Raza Gillani, explaining lawmakers how to tamper their votes.
During today’s hearing, the court put off the indictment of the Gillani and other two accused — Fahim Khan and Jameel Khan.
The court also issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the other two accused in the case.
The lawyers of the accused submitted applications to exempt their clients from appearance.
However, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) lawyer Saad Hasan raised objections over the exemption pleas and said the accused were using delaying tactics in the case.
After hearing the arguments, the judge issued warrants for the accused and adjourned the hearing of the case till June 16.
The then-ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in March 2021 alleged that their lawmakers were being bought with money by the PPP leader.
The PTI emerged as the largest party in the upper house with 18 seats, followed by PPP with eight seats on March 3.
The PTI government had accused the then-opposition of being involved in illegal practices by using money to gain votes while the opposition blamed the ruling party for raising the open ballot issue because it had doubts over lawmakers’ loyalties.