The probe committee on the vote buying in 2018 Senate election on Saturday decided to investigate the beneficiaries of the vote purchase as well as the financiers. Constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the three-member committee, in its maiden meeting held here, also decided to invite the journalist who released the video on the media. “The committee will probe who were the beneficiaries of the purchased votes and who allegedly provided the money to purchase the MPAs’ votes,” said a press release. The committee comprises Federal Minister for Science and Technology Ch Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and Advisor to PM on Accountability and Interior Shehzad Akbar. The body recognised the undermining of democracy by purchasing of votes, especially in Senate elections which have been regularly subjected to this malpractice. Besides defining its procedures, the committee decided to use human rights minister’s office as its secretariat. The body will also request those who may have first-hand information or knowledge of the incident to share this information with the committee either in writing or in person. It will also recommend the actions to be taken. Separately, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday directed four institutions to provide it with data of candidates contesting the upcoming Senate elections for verification. According to details, the Ministry of Interior, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have been asked to provide certain documentation for each candidate so that their eligibility and credibility could be ascertained. According to media reports, the NAB will provide information regarding a candidate’s history with regards to the law; the FBR will look into possible tax evasion by the candidates; while the SBP will confirm if a candidate or any of their family members has defaulted in the past year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the commission will scrutinize the credentials of the candidates through an online process. The Senate polls are scheduled for March 3. Earlier in the day, the ECP also extended the date to file nomination papers till February 15.