Masses Rejected PTI, should withdraw Rigging Allegation - Saad Rafique
Lahore: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan should display moral courage and withdraw allegations of electoral malpractice in the 2013 polls as the people have again reposed their confidence in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the recent local government polls in Cantonments, Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique said on Sunday.
He was speaking to journalists at the Press Club. Rafique said the PML-N had secured a decisive mandate in cantonment areas that constituted a part of his and Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif’s constituencies. He said Khan had claimed that the 2013 elections in these areas had been rigged. “Cantt constitutes the largest part of my constituency. The party won 15 out of 20 seats there. In Sialkot, we won four out of five seats. We lost one seat there by a margin of just 14 votes. The people have given their verdict and Khan should accept it with sportsman spirit.
Rafique said Khan should hold to account those guilty of feeding him erroneous information regarding these constituencies during the PTI’s sit-in at Islamabad’s D-Chowk. “The PML-N has secured an emphatic mandate in Rawalpindi as well,” he said.
The minister said the PML-N had not gotten an FIR registered against PTI leaders with regard to the Amar Sidhu incident. “The practice of framing politicians has become obsolete. The PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek have tried to revive it,” Rafique said. He said the PML-N could have followed suit and nominated the PTI’s leadership for opening fire on PML-N workers but did not. “The party only nominated those who are guilty of opening fire,” Rafique said.
He said the PML-N was a mature party that had sagacity of not accepting resignations of PTI lawmakers even after they had termed the parliament “fake.” Rafique said the party never believed that voters made a mistake, even in those wards where the PML-N had lost. He said the party would introspect on this account. Rafique said the PML-N accepted results of wards where the PTI had won. He said this was the crux of the PTI’s problem. “They do not accept results when they lose,” Rafique said.
The minister said the people had voted for the PML-N as the party was committed to eradicating terrorism, making Karachi tranquil, formulating a nonaligned foreign policy and working for the welfare of the public. Rafique demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan revamp rules to improve voter turnout.
“The turnout would have been better had the polling time had been extended,” he said. Rafique said the voting time had elapsed by the time most people employed at offices had gotten free. He said he believed that barring ministers from running election campaigns was unconstitutional.
Rafique said every political worker had the right to do this. He said he would raise this concern before PML-N leaders and the party might take legal recourse to amend the regulation.
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