Pakistan political crisis deepen as former election official alleges rigging in 2013 polls

Imran, Qadri leading anti-government campaign.
Imran, Qadri leading anti-government campaign.

The political crisis in Pakistan have deepened as country’s former top election official has alleged rigged in 2013 elections.

Islamabad, Aug 25/Nationalturk – The political crisis in Pakistan have deepened as country’s former top election official has alleged that 2013 general elections were rigged in favour of present Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party PML-N.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) of cleric and politician Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri have been staging “freedom” and “revolution” marches since August 14 outside country’s Red Zone housing Parliament, PM House, President’s House, Supreme court and embassies of some countries.

Thousands of supporters of Khan and Qadri have been camping in the Red Zone and demanding ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Khan and Qadri are not officially allied but both are calling for the ouster of a government they condemn as corrupt, which came to power after a sweeping General Election victory for the party of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year.

Khan alleges that last year’s general elections in the country were rigged while Qadri has been demanding registration of FIR and dismissal of PM Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who is Chief Minister of Pakistan’s populous State Punjab of death of 14 of his supporters in police firing on June 17.

‘2013 polls were rigged’

The revelations of former additional secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Muhammad Afzal Khan that May 2013 elections in country were rigged have added to the turmoil.

In an interview to private TV channel, Afzal said not 35 but several hundred punctures were carried out during the elections.

He said bogus voting was carried in all constituencies except with those having cameras installed like Islamabad adding that the people’s mandate was stolen in the elections.

Former Additional Secretary ECP said country’s former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry deployed Returning Officers (ROs) although it was not his domain. “Election commission is responsible for the deployment of ROs.”

Afzal said that judges were also involved in fixing the vote and that hearings of voter fraud was deliberately delayed.

He said votes can be verified in seven days while here in this corrupt system a verification case which can be solved in 60 days was not solved even in 365 days.

Afzal claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has a fake mandate.  “The PML-N chief has a fake and bogus mandate.”

He said Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, who was chief election commissioner during 2013 polls, was frightened while carrying out his duties.

“Fakhru Bhai saved the former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry by giving an application for appointing ROs. Fakhru Bhai closed his eyes on everything and he should have taken notice of the situation,” Afzal said.

He also alleged that a member of ECP Justice (retd) Riaz Ahmed Kiyani  was directly involved in rigging elections in Punjab province. “He rigged 90 percent of last year’s general elections and was directly appointed by current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.

Nawaz must resign: Imran

PTI chief Imran Khan said PM Nawaz Sharif should resign as people who were willing to testify against rigging in 2013 general elections can only be provided proper protection after Sharif steps down.

In a post on micro-blogging website Twitter, he said without Nawaz’s resignation it wouldn’t be possible to accord the protection to those who are willing to come forward and testify.

Referring to disclosures of former ECP official, Imran said people were now willing to step forward and speak against the rigging.

“Those who testify in this regard should be provided security,” he added.

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Asia News/ NationalTurk Pakistan News


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