PML-N, Nadra, ECP all played their part in 2013 Election Rigging - Imran
ISLAMABAD: Insisting that his party had presented enough evidence before the inquiry commission to prove their claim that the 2013 general elections were rigging in the favour of the ruling PML-N, PTI chief Imran Khan accused the government, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) of a collective cover-up.
Speaking to mediapersons outside the Supreme Court, which has become a regular part of Mr Khan’s routine now, he maintained that these national institutions were responsible for the “farcical elections”.
Clad in his signature white shalwar kameez and sunglasses and flanked by key party leaders, the triumphant-looking PTI leader declared that his struggle to bring true democracy to the country was about to be completed and those involved in stealing the people’s mandate had been exposed. “In the future, no one will dare to make such a mistake again.”
“I am surprised by the recent statements made by the ECP and Nadra, which clearly show whose side the two institutions are standing on at this critical moment,” he said.
On one hand, the Nadra chairman said they lacked the technology to read fingerprints because of poor ink quality, but at the same time claimed that all unreadable ballots were also genuine voters.
“I know the Nadra chairman made this statement under pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office,” Mr Khan said.
In a strong rejoinder issued over the weekend, the ECP had accused PTI of failing to provide evidence proving its claims before the judicial commission, in contrast to its claims that it would prove that the last elections were deliberately rigged in favour of the PML-N.
Mr Khan accused the ECP and Nadra of covering-up for the ruling party, saying both organisations were busy trying their best to hide evidence on behalf of the incumbent government. “This is why, during the sit-in, I had demanded the PM’s resignation because I knew that a fair investigation was not possible in his presence,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Khan was particularly harsh on ECP Punjab, who he accused of “giving a free hand to PML-N candidates to manage elections at their will.”
Substantiating his argument with examples of how returning officer (ROs) connived with the ruling PML-N, particularly in Punjab, Mr Khan said, “During his appearance before the commission, the baffled RO for NA-125 accepted that he was unaware that additional 50,000 were ballots printed for the constituency he supervised.”
Showing two different sets of Form XV from the NA-21 Mansehra, where the prime minister’s son-in-law Captain Mohammad Safdar was elected from, the PTI chairman told the media corps gathered outside the SC there were scores of polling stations where this kind of cover-up was attempted.
Mr Khan hoped that after the constitution of the inquiry commission and the hearing of the PTI plea against rigging, the country will embark on the path to free and fair elections in future.
PTI National Organiser Jahangir Tareen and Information Secretary Naeemul Haq were also present on the occasion.
Soon after Mr Khan’s press talk, information minister Pervaiz Rashid announced he would hold a press conference in the evening, as per routine, but his press conference was later cancelled.
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