Judge says ANP and PML-N suffered major defeats in Sindh and KP but neither party made rigging allegations against PTI or other parties
The General Election Inquiry Commission (GEIC) Wednesday directed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to submit evidence of its claims after it alleged that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) was involved in widespread systematic rigging.
The three-member commission was headed by Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk and comprised Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Amir Hani Muslim. The commission directed the counsels of the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan National Party and Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) to conclude arguments by 11:30am today (Thursday).
At the outset of the hearing, the CJP asked PTI counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada to submit evidence of rigging against PML-N. Pirzada replied that Punjab’s bureaucracy was under the influence of PML-N during the 2008 to 2013 period, due to which it obtained 14.8 million votes during the last elections. He said that PML-N got 11 million votes from Punjab while PTI got only five million votes from the province. He said that the power of former caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi was reduced before April 26, 2013 and later on these powers were handed over to someone else.
On this, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that the Awami National Party (ANP) faced unprecedented defeat in the last election and PML-N candidates faced large scale defeat in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. He remarked that election results in KP reflected the real representation of people and PML-N and other parties did not challenge the result of the election in the province.
Pirzada said that the secretary education Punjab was not changed during election and more than 50 per cent education employees served duties for Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during election. He said that Provincial Chief Election Commissioner Mahboob Anwar was called from Sindh before election and he allowed Returning Officers to obtain additional ballot papers. He said that ROs violated laws by keeping extra ballot papers in their custody. On this, the CJ remarked that ROs kept extra ballot papers in their custody not just in Punjab.
Pirzada said that extra ballot papers were not sent in the constituencies of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI chief Imran Khan due to the high profile candidates contesting there, but 120,000 extra ballot papers were sent in four constituencies of Lahore. He said that it was clear that the extra manpower was hired from Lahore, which reflects rigging in the country.
Replying to this the CJ remarked that extra manpower was sought for numbering and binding of ballot papers.
After conclusion of PTI counsel’s arguments, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan representing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) started his arguments. Later the commission adjourned hearing till Thursday after the conclusion of Aitzaz Ahsan’s arguments.