Imran Khan
Imran Khan

Imran questions authenticity of by-polls under ‘tainted’ ECP officials

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said that the officials of Election Commission under whom the elections were rigged in 2013 have again been assigned to conduct the polls, thus putting a question mark on the authenticity of upcoming by-polls.

He said this while addressing a rally in Lahore ahead of the by-polls in NA-122 constituency.

The PTI chief said that this time the army personnel will monitor the polling process in NA-122, and not just the polling process but they will also monitor the transfer of voting bags to ECP.

Imran further said that this time around Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has given training to PTI’s polling staff on how to stop PML-N people from doing poll-day rigging.

“Our sources have informed us that PML-N is planning to do rigging at women’s polling station, but let me make it clear upon them that PTI’s tigresses will not let them succeed in their nefarious designs,” he said.

While taking a jibe at the PML-N, Imran said that since their leaders are all hiding behind stay orders from court, he should better call them ‘stay order league’ instead of N-league.

Our main focus is not on bringing out people on voting day, but we are more concerned about how to stop poll-rigging, said Imran.

“It all started with me demanding PML-N to open four constituencies. Was it an unjust demand?” he questioned.

Mentioning corruption as the main hindrance in the country’s development, Imran said that currently scores of cases are lying pending in Punjab’s National Accountability Bureau, but the incumbent government is not letting them prosecute those cases.

“If these 180 or so pending cases are prosecuted then it result in bringing back billions of rupees to the national exchequer, thus benefitting the country’s economy,” he asserted.

Polling for NA-122, Lahore, is due on Oct 11 and the PTI has fielded former provincial minister Abdul Aleem Khan against PML-N’s candidate and AyazSadiq.

The ECP is setting up 284 polling stations for by-polls in NA-122. There will be 673 polling booths, for male and female voters, in the constituency. The election commission has also decided to deploy personnel of Pakistan Rangers Punjab in the upcoming bye-election in the constituency.

Punjab election commission’s tribunal on Aug 22 had ordered re-polling in NA-122, declaring the election in the constituency null and void – accepting PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition challenging the 2013 election result.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had defeated Imran Khan in the 2013 general elections from NA-122 after which PTI had challenged the results.

NA-122 was among the four controversial constituencies — the other three being NA-110 (Sialkot), NA-125 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran) — where PTI had demanded for voters’ thumbprint verification in the hopes of finding a solution that might be acceptable to all concerned.

It is to be mentioned here that proceedings of Imran Khan’s petition remained suspended for a year. The Lahore High Court on Nov 4, 2013, had granted a stay to the NA speaker against the proceedings before the tribunal. The court on Nov 20, 2014, recalled the stay order and allowed the tribunal to proceed with the case.