KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Miftah Ismail has requested the chief election commissioner (CEC) to take emergency steps for taking the custody of the NA-249 by-election record, which is currently under the custody of the police.
Miftah, in his plea, sought emergency action by CEC to seize sealed ballot papers and other election material used in NA-249 by-polls. He stated that the election material should be kept at a secure location until the emergence of the final results of the by-polls.
He demanded the CEC to keep the election material at a safe location under the supervision of Rangers or Pakistan Army. He thanked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for issuing a stay order on the results of NA-249 by-election.
Ismail claimed that the majority of presiding officers (POs) and election staff belonged to the Sindh government, who illegally supported the provincial government, adding every political party has filed its complaints against it.
He expressed suspicions over the security of the ballot papers that are currently under the custody of the police forces which is a subordinate department of the Sindh government. He added that suspicions are prevailing for changes in the ballot papers, counter files, ballot paper accounts and stamped copies of electoral lists.
Meanwhile, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, taking a pot shot at the PML-N, has said that PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari has “reminded PML-N of army’s significance”.
In response to Ismail’s comments regarding the recently-held controversial by-poll in Karachi’s NA-249 constituency, Fawad on Twitter said: “Miftah Ismail has been saying that the record should be kept under the supervision of army. Zardari has reminded PML-N of the army”.
While hinting towards the hard-hitting statements made by the PML-N leadership against the state institutions, Fawad said: “That’s why it’s said that think hundred times before speaking.”
The minister added that the respect for the country’s institutions is necessary “as states cannot sustain without them”.
In another tweet, Fawad said PML-N’s refusal to hold negotiations on electoral reforms is very unfortunate.
Fawad said that PML-N’s demand that the reforms should be carried out by ECP instead of parliament show that “they have no understanding of the system and no interest in reforms”.
“Why a party which always came to power through conspiracies would want electoral reforms,” he remarked.