ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, strongly condemned the continuing indecision of the election tribunal in opening up NA-122 for vote recount and thumbprint verification despite what he claims is overwhelming evidence of irregularities that have become evident in PP-147 with six polling stations opened for verification.
PTI chairman asserted despite this clear evidence of wrongdoing, “the election tribunal was considering his petition for opening up of NA-122 for verification failed to operationalise the petition.” Imran wondered why NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq was seeking shelter behind court stay orders instead of having the moral courage to seek the truth through vote and thumbprint verifications. Imran said that under the circumstances Ayaz Sadiq has lost all moral credibility and should resign from the speakership till the verification process for NA-122 was completed.
Imran stated that NADRA revealed the 6 polling stations opened up in PP-147, 3,267 of the 4,726 votes could not be verified, and while NADRA identified fake CNIC numbers written on 696 vote counterfoils. In addition, 69% of the votes polled in these 6 polling stations of PP-147 were found to be bogus. Imran added that, interestingly, 117 polling stations in PP-147 fell under NA-122 where he had contested. In the 6 polling stations there were also 1,590 vote counterfoils that carried bad quality fingerprints affixed on used counterfoils due to non-utilisation of proper ink.
The election tribunal judge had committed to opening up the entire PP-147 for verification if discrepancies were found in the 6 polling stations but nothing had been done in this regard. Another glaring sign of blatant rigging was the discovery of 7 bags of votes in the 6 polling stations when each polling station was to have only one comprising of the votes. If the opening up of a mere 6 polling stations had revealed such a fraud, the opening of the 290 polling stations of NA-122 would show even more shocking evidence of vote tampering and rigging.
Imran asserted that one of the clearest proofs of planned rigging was the vote jump supposedly for PML-N from the 6,805,304 votes in the 2008 elections to 14,874,104 votes they claimed in the 2013 elections. For a party that performed poorly on all fronts in Punjab where they were in power after 2008, it is inconceivable that their vote bank to have jumped to more than double.
Imran was categorical in stating, “Had the PML-N not been obdurate in preventing the auditing of votes and thumbprint verifications in the four constituencies, PTI would not have been pushed into coming out into the streets. PTI had waited for over a year to seek justice against rigging in all available forums from the election tribunals to the courts, including the SC and to the Parliament – all to no avail with the PML-N hiding behind all ruses by playing from time to time to prevent the exposure of rigging. Imran added that it was obvious why the PML-N government was unwilling to allow opening of the four constituencies demanded by PTI; because if these four constituencies were opened, the PML-N’s massive planned rigging would stand exposed and their government would lose all moral and legal grounds to govern.”
Barring the controversial jangla bus in Lahore, the PML-N government’s performance in Punjab, in the agriculture and industrial sector was abysmal. Loadshedding reached new heights and protests against the PML-N government in Punjab came from all segments of society – from teachers, clerks, doctors, students, farmers and industrialists, thus the vote count in 2013 was clearly rigged.
Imran concluded by vowing that PTI would expose the electoral fraud of 2013 because the people of Pakistan needed to know that those who sought to steal their mandate would be brought to justice. Also, without this expose and punishment for those involved in rigging in 2013, electoral reforms for the future would not be meaningful.
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