Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid has said that “apparently anti-American” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has gone against his political stance by accepting the United States formula of auditing Afghan presidential elections for Pakistan.
In an interview, the minister said the 2013 general elections were not rigged, and were termed by reputed international observers, such as PILDAT, FAFEN and UNDP, as more transparent and fair than previous elections.
Regarding the PTI chief’s allegation that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had set up a cell in COMSATS for manipulation of election results, he said the whole election record and ballot boxes were in Election Commission of Pakistan’s possession and NADRA had nothing to do with it.
Rashid said Khan had claimed that a Military Intelligence brigadier was involved in the rigging but had failed to give his name.
Rashid said that on one hand, Khan had alleged that Nawaz Sharif’s victory speech was part of the rigging process while on the other, he had levelled allegations of vote fraud against the returning officers. He said no crisis was going to engulf the country as the people would forget PTI’s August 14 march on August 15.
He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had no objection to the PTI’s long march as all political forces had the right to hold public meetings and marches. However, he opined that only one flag should be raised on August 14 – the national flag.
About the government’s August 14 parade at D-Chowk, he said that in the past this parade was held at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul but last year the decision was made to hold the same in front of the Parliament House. He also invited the PTI chief to attend the grand event.