Home Latest News PTI Alleges Pre-Poll Rigging Ahead of By-Elections

PTI Alleges Pre-Poll Rigging Ahead of By-Elections

Opposition party accuses incumbent government of failing to curb inflation

by Staff Report

File photo of PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan

Ahead of by-elections due on April 21, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of pre-poll rigging to damage its chances.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan claimed PTI candidates were being harassed by police and were being denied a chance to campaign. He further alleged Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and the provincial police chief were using “brutal and coercive tactics” to rig the elections.

According to the PTI leader, who is also the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, the ECP has reduced the number of polling stations, shifting some to remote areas to discourage voter turnout. He also claimed officials had been instructed to not provide Form-45s to PTI candidates. He said the PTI would organize public gatherings in constituencies facing by-polls, adding he, PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan, and Sher Afzal Marwat would address these.

During his press conference, Ayub also discussed the Bahawalnagar incident in which police clashed with Army officials, demanding a transparent judicial inquiry into the matter. “The incident reflects the lack of discipline in the law-enforcement institutions,” he claimed.

Slamming the incumbent government for failing to curb inflation, he claimed unemployment was rising in the country, adding this would prove the government’s downfall. He also criticized the Punjab government’s decision to reduce the rotis and naans, claiming this reflected a lack of understanding about the economy. He claimed such food items should not be sold at government rates as they had an adverse impact on farmers.

Curiously, while Ayub was criticizing the PMLN-led Punjab government for its decision, the PTI-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa announced it was reducing the price of rotis to Rs. 15 at tandoors.

On the Iran and Israel conflict, Ayub said that Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar should have given a policy statement on the issue, dismissing the statement issued by the Foreign Office declaring it a “failure of diplomacy.” He also welcomed the Saudi delegation’s visit to Pakistan, but questioned how the country could attract any investments without “rule of law.”

The PTI leader also referred to claims by Bushra Bibi, the wife of party founder Imran Khan, that she was “poisoned,” demanding a doctor of the Shaukat Khanum Hospital be allowed to examine her. He further condemned her allegations that “secret cameras” were installed in her bedroom.

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