The General Election Inquiry Commission (GEIC), probing alleged systematic rigging in the last general election, has summoned former caretaker chief minister of Punjab Najam Sethi and journalist Hamid Mir to appear before the commission on Monday to record their testimonies.
During the course of proceedings on Friday, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said that the party would file a written reply to the allegations levelled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) regarding rigging in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Monday.
The counsels of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahid Hamid and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Salman Akram Raja cross-examined Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, former secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
During cross-examination Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan said that as many as 16 parties, including PTI, had recommended the appointment of returning officers (ROs) from judiciary in the 2013 General Election.
He said that he was not aware of the procedure followed for printing of ballots by the ROs. The ex-secretary ECP asked whether any incident about getting any political party’s agent out of the polling station was reported by the media or not. On this the chief justice remarked that media was performing its duties however no such report surfaced.
Ishtiaq Khan said that the commission directed the returning officers to send Forms 16 & 17 to ECP and Forms 14 & 15 put in polling bags and deposited it to the treasury concerned. He said that ECP did not have enough space to maintain all electoral record.
Ishtiaq Ahmed also said that from 1970 to 2013, additional ballots were printed against the number of registered voters, however the ratio was relatively lower in 1993 and 2013.