Home Latest News PTI Accuses Intelligence Agencies of Facilitating Rigging in By-Polls

PTI Accuses Intelligence Agencies of Facilitating Rigging in By-Polls

Opposition party announces plans for nationwide protests from Friday

by Staff Report

PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan addresses a press conference in Islamabad

Leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday accused the country’s intelligence and security agencies of facilitating rigging in the by-elections for 21 constituencies a day earlier that saw the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) secure a majority of wins, while the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council was restricted to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Claiming the by-polls on April 21 were a “continuation” of the Feb. 8 general elections—during which the PTI continues to allege electoral rigging—the party leadership demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) withhold the notifications of results and announced they would launch nationwide protests from Friday (April 26).

“Day of election is considered an accountability day, and people cast their votes with great zeal,” PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan told a press conference. “However, on April 21, open and blatant violations of law were observed,” he claimed, alleging some polling stations saw more votes cast than had total registered votes. He also alleged—without offering any evidence—that election staff at one polling station in Gujrat, where PMLQ’s Musa Elahi defeated SIC’s Parvez Elahi, had told him 120 votes were cast but had three boxes full of ballot papers.

At another polling station, he claimed, the PTI’s polling agents were forced to leave. “We reported all complaints to the ECP, but the election watchdog took no action,” he claimed of alleged rigging during the by-elections. “We demand that the ECP conduct an inquiry and also share how it will ensure that such rigging will not be repeated in future,” he said and reiterated demands for returning officers and district returning officers to be appointed from the judiciary.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Omar Ayub, meanwhile, alleged pre-poll rigging, pointing to the suspension of mobile services in constituencies under contest. He claimed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz did not “believe in transparency.” He also showed a letter from a RO in Bajaur alleging interference of intelligence agencies, but the Bajaur administration has already debunked this.

“Punjab police picked up and badly beat journalists,” he claimed, adding police had “misbehaved” with him and other PTI leaders who traveled to Gujrat on polling day. He claimed police had told them intelligence agencies were not allowing voters to enter polling stations. He said the PTI would seek legal action against the DIG Gujrat, SP Investigation, DSP and SHOs.

To protest such incidents, said Ayub, the PTI and its allied parties would launch a nationwide protest movement from Friday. The first demonstration, he said, would be followed by a protest in Faisalabad. Then the joint opposition alliance would organize a public meeting in Karachi on May 5, followed by additional public meetings in other parts of the country.

SIC Chairman Hamid Raza, meanwhile, accused the Punjab government of playing a role in the rigging. He claimed government officials forcefully obtained signatures on Form-45s and made videos while paying money to some individuals—though did not provide any such videos to media. He said cases of sedition should be registered against senior officials of the Punjab government.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment