The three-member high-powered judicial commission tasked with probing the allegations of massive vote fraud in 2013 general elections has trashed the three major questions raised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and some other political parties.
According to Shahid Hamid, the lead lawyer of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the judicial commission had sent its report to the government which consisted of 400 pages.
“I have yet to read the full report but the last page states that all three allegations leveled by PTI have been rejected,” Hamid confirmed to Pakistan Today Editor Mr Arif Nizami on his TV talkshow DNA on Channel 24.
The PTI leadership refused to comment on the important development, stating that it would wait for official confirmation of the judicial commission’s report.
“It is too early to comment on any verdict being reported by the media. We will respond once the official report is available,” PTI Secretary Information Naeemul Haq said while talking to Pakistan Today.
Shahid Hamid, who also served as Punjab governor in mid-90s and knows the functioning of the government institutions and the sensitivities involved in making such a disclosure, said that since the report was public property, the government would soon release it.
“I hope that (PTI chairman) Imran Khan would stand by his commitment made in the MoU signed between the negotiating panels of the PTI and PML-N. It was written in the ToRs of the inquiry commission that all parties would accept the decision of the commission,” he added.
“I can tell you that the enquiry commission has rejected all the three allegations raised by the PTI in the ToRs (terms of reference) of the commission. The commission has stated that (it has been proved) that the elections were held fairly and according to the law; no (systematic) pattern of rigging could be established; and the public mandate was not stolen,” he added.
Asked how much time the commission had consumed to announce its verdict and how many sessions had been held by the commission, Shahid Hamid said the proceedings had continued for two and a half months while the commission held 39 hearings of the case and many witnesses recorded their statements. Hamid said that the PTI did not raise its much-touted 35-punctures allegation before the commission and neither had it submitted any evidence in this regard.
When Shahid Hamid was asked whether the matter was a closed transaction in legal terms or the PTI might again challenge the commission’s decision before the Supreme Court, the lawyer said that the matter could not be challenged before the apex court because it was a special enquiry commission.
Responding to a question whether the enquiry commission had also made some proposals to make the electoral process more effective and transparent as during the past two and half years, the incompetence of the Election Commission had come to the fore, Shahid Hamid said: “Electoral process is an ongoing process and we hope that the commission would have made some proposals in its report to ensure free, fair and transparent polls in future. In near future, local government elections are going to be held in federal capital and in Punjab and Sindh. We hope the report would help in improving the electioneering process.”