PTI’s first poll rigging ‘witness’ hits the dock | Pakistan Today

PTI’s first poll rigging ‘witness’ hits the dock

  • PML-N’s counsel says Khakwani not the author or witness of any documents attached

The judicial commission (JC) formed to probe allegations of rigging in General Elections 2013 on Tuesday examined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s first witness, PTI Task Force In-charge Ishaq Khan Khakwani, as he appeared to record his statement.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s counsel Shahid Hamid raised objections to some of Khakwani statements during cross examination. “He is not the author or witness of any documents which are attached in Vol 51, wherein he alleged that the NA-168 elections were rigged,” he said, adding that the documents submitted by Khakwani were not certified.

Hamid also raised objection over the evidence provided, claiming it had either been dismissed or its appeal is pending before the Supreme Court (SC) or an election tribunal. “He is not an agent in respect of any of the 73 election petitions and none of these documents have been obtained from proper custody,” he contended.

During the proceedings, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) counsel Salman Akram Raja said Khakwani’s affidavit was “deliberately vague” and did not differentiate whether or not he received or collected these documents.

Justice Amir Hani Muslim observed that Qanun-e-Shahdat is not strictly applicable in these proceedings. However, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan took note that the counsel has the right to express reservation over the authenticity and genuineness of the documents.

The CJP observed that every political party has the right to cross-examine witnessed. Likewise, he said there is no embargo on political parties for producing any witness at any time during the proceedings.

Moreover, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan raised an objection over People’s Muslim League’s application against his party. He requested for the documents that contain CMA 4/2015 from pages 48 to 51. He has not been given a reply as yet, however the commission directed the secretary to provide him a copy of the documents.

Regarding his application for the inspection of polling bags in 65 constituencies to ascertain the correctness of election record, the PML-N counsel said that if the commission admits his plea then the commission itself will select the constituency. He stated that the applicant has furnished the list of constituencies in Punjab and he may file an application wherein he will request that the inspection of bags should be done in every province.

The CJP said that before opening the bags, they will have to issue notices to the returned candidates. They would also examine whether the recount was need in Punjab only or other provinces as well, he added.

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