Imran’s 16 allegations based on speculation

Huzaifa RehmanMonday, September 08, 2014 
From Print Edition

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan’s 16 allegations about rigging are based on speculation, and he is presenting to the nation twisted versions of various statements and reports in a misleading manner. He has so far failed to put forward proof of any one of his allegations.

Imran should have reservations about the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) instead of the government in the first place. It has been proved by investigations that Imran is trying to weaken the system in pursuance of his ego. Out of 16, Jang and The News have published nine of his allegations while seven others have been published in other publications.

Imran Khan presented a twisted version of the statement of Chaudhry Nisar regarding the verification of thumb impressions. Nisar had said that verifying thumb impressions of 60-70 thousand voters in each constituency was impossible because magnetic ink has not been used and due to a lack of professional staff and training at Nadra to make the verifications.

To say that votes could not be verified does not mean that they are fake. It was the responsibility of the caretaker government to ensure that elections are conducted transparently and this issue is already being heard in a court of law.

Imran has based his allegation of 35 ‘punctures’ with respect to caretaker Punjab chief minister Najam Sethi on Fafen reports. However, Fafen has not made any such assertion. Rather, it had said in its report with reference to the comparative analysis of 35 constituencies the margin with which candidates won these constituencies is lesser than the cancelled votes. Fafen raised some questions about this phenomenon but never called it wrong. It made clear that votes could be rejected due to many reasons. Out of these 35 seats, only 15 are in Punjab and PTI candidates are runners-up in only seven of them. Najam Sethi was a nominated candidate of the PPP and had changed 28 out of 30 provincial secretaries because they had been part of the team of Shahbaz Sharif.

Imran said Nawaz Sharif delivered a speech at a time when only 30 percent of the results were announced, whereas Geo TV, like other channels, was showing unofficial results collected from its correspondents spread across the country. Since Geo has a vast network of correspondents, it was swift in showing results.

Some channels were showing the result of the constituency of Khwaja Saad Rafiq on the night of the election but Geo was responsible enough not to follow them, as allegations of rigging had surfaced. If Geo is involved in rigging, then another five news channels are also involved. Every channel has thousands of employees, hence tens of thousands of people would be involved in pre-planned rigging, which is baseless.

Imran’s fourth allegation about the printing of ballot papers from a private publisher is wrong since the ECP has made it clear that all ballot papers were printed in the presence of the army.

The four constituences – NA 110, 122, 125 and 154 – that Imran wants opened could not be opened by the government or Nawaz Shairf. According to ECP laws, only a tribunal can investigate rigging in all these constituencies.

Imran’s sixth allegation that record rigging took place in these four constituencies is wrong as Fafen has reported zero violation of laws in NA-110.

Imran’s seventh allegation about the role of the PML-N in getting Jangir Tareen defeated from NA-154 is wrong as the PML-N itself has lost this seat. Imran Khan’s eighth allegation that the PPP has also accepted rigging in Punjab is wrong because the PPP itself has lost important seats in Punjab and it has no place in the province even if Imran’s allegation is right.

Imran Khan’s nineth allegation that election tribunals have failed in dealing with the cases is contrary to reality, as 14 election tribunals of the country have disposed of about 300 out of 410 cases which accounts for 75 percent of the total. Imran Khan’s tenth allegation that a partial ECP has appointed tribunal judges is wrong as judges were appointed by chief justices of the respective high courts.

Imran’s 11th allegation that tribunals were slow in working is wrong as is evident by the delaying tactics used by Usman Dar in a case against Khwaja Asif so that the case could not be resolved in 120 days.

Imran Khan’s 12th allegation that if the ECP decides the cases, the Nawaz Sharif government would fall is wrong as in reality, PTI could not succeed in any of the 39 constituencies decided so far while it has challenged only 58 constituencies. If all the remaining 19 cases are decided in PTI’s favour, Imran Khan will still not be able to form a government.

Imran Khan’s 13th allegation that tribunals are favouring PML-N is wrong as the tribunals have disqualified 10 PML-N candidates so far. Raising a finger on the Supreme Court is laughable because the apex court has already sent home a sitting prime minister. Imran Khan’s demand for the PM’s resignation is unconstitutional as even the SC does not have the power to form a technocrats’ government as per his demand. Imran’s 15th allegation that this government is unable to reform the system is wrong as the government has already set up an electoral reform committee which has three members from the PTI.

Imran’s 16th allegation that former CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry, former caretaker chief minister Punjab Najam Sethi, former Chief Election Commissioner Fakhurdin G Ebrahim, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and a brigadier of the MI are involved in rigging is shameless as all the aforementioned personalities have rejected the allegation and sought proof from Imran. But like the 15 other allegations, the last one is also based on speculation and twisted reports and statements.

The investigations of Jang and The News have made it clear that Imran’s allegations are a pack of lies.

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