Alleged rigging: Imran Khan lays bare identities of ‘poll fixers’

Published: August 12, 2014
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Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan (C) flanked by Javed Hashmi (L) and Shah Mahmood Qureshi (R), speaks during a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on August 11, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan (C) flanked by Javed Hashmi (L) and Shah Mahmood Qureshi (R), speaks during a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on August 11, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan (C) flanked by Javed Hashmi (L) and Shah Mahmood Qureshi (R), speaks during a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on August 11, 2014. PHOTO: AFP Khalilur Rehman Ramday Najam Sethi Riaz Kayani Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan revealed the names of four key players who allegedly plotted and executed “a massive rigging” plan in the May 2013 elections.

Addressing a news conference on Monday, the PTI chief alleged that former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, former judge Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Punjab’s former caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi and Punjab’s Election Commission member Riaz Kayani were behind the poll rigging. The PTI chief, however, did not provide any documentary proof to substantiate his claim.

“These players manipulated the elections with the help of returning officers and the Punjab administration and carved out the electoral victory of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N),” he said. In return, he said, the PML-N rewarded them with favours upon coming into power.

He said since the PML-N was unhappy with the PTI’s tsunami marches in 2013, it had laid out an election rigging plan. “To execute this plan, Punjab’s election commissioner Tariq Qadri was transferred to Sindh after he resisted implementing the illegal orders of the Election Commission’s member Riaz Kayani and Anwar Mehboob was brought from Karachi to replace Qadri.”

Imran claimed that some bureaucrats had informed him about the possibility of a match-fixing.

“But I was confident that in the presence of the former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, there will not be any rigging. The assumption proved wrong though as the ex-CJ himself was involved in the match-fixing,” he said.

The PTI chief alleged that the former apex court judge Khalilur Rehman Ramday had arranged a special meeting of selected returning officers at his residence days before the elections – a meeting in which, according to him, the former CJP was also invited and a special covert election cell was formed.

“The third player, Punjab’s caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi, was to play the key role of deputing these officers in key places,” he said, adding that Sethi dispatched additional ballot papers to five divisions.

Imran Khan claimed that he had eyewitnesses, who had seen ballot papers being dispatched at the PML-N’s leader Khawaja Saad Rafique’s residence.

“The ballot papers were privately printed by the PML-N on substandard papers and because of these fake ballot boxes, the votes of the PML-N increased from 6.8 million to 15 million,” he said, adding that some unscrupulous people were caught printing ballot papers on May 9, 2013.

“Wherever the inquiries were conducted and results were opened, up to 50,000 bogus votes were discovered,” he said.

He also claimed that Justice Ramday was behind Nawaz Sharif’s victory speech and it was part of the game. “The ROs accelerated their work after the speech and the number of votes in farvour of PML-N started to increase abruptly.”

He said that after the polls, the PML-N started paying these players for their services and Najam Sethi was the first as he was appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman. “Later, the son of Justice Ramday was appointed Punjab’s advocate general, Ramday’s brother was also obliged,” he claimed.

He claimed the former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry also congratulated ROs over this rigged election and then announced his support for the PML-N during his visit to Quetta. “In return, his son was made Balochistan’s Board of Investment’s vice chairman,” he added.

The PTI chief also alluded to a letter – written to the then president Asif Ali Zardari by the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) former chairman Admiral Fasih Bokhari – in which he had expressed fears about possible poll fraud.

“In the letter, Bokhari said a big media group was being give tax exemption and the former CJP was behind the game. For this purpose, Tariq Bajwa was appointed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman,” he added.

Imran Khan demanded an extensive inquiry into these irregularities and manipulation through an independent commission, which, he said, was possible only under a neutral set up.

‘We don’t support martial law’

Imran clarified that his party will not support military rule and that free and fair election is the only way to build a robust democracy – an aim which he seeks to achieve though his Azadi march, which will be held on August 14 at any cost.

“No martial law will come due to the democratic protest and I will also motivate Dr Tahirul Qadri that revolution should come only through free and fair elections and everyone should struggle for this,” he said.

He said nothing less than resignation of prime minister and announcement of fresh elections would be acceptable at this point.

“The armed forces and police will not stop Azadi march as it will be a march of people and these forces will respect the wishes of the masses,” Imran said later to his workers after reaching his residence in Lahore.

He said the Azadi march would end corruption, monarchy, ignorance, injustice, all wrongs and would do ruthless accountability to bring prosperity among the masses.

“We will not leave Islamabad till Nawaz Sharif’s monarchy ends and country get real independence and freedom from family politics,” he said, adding that the government’s days were numbered.

Khan urged the workers to remove all barriers and containers from their way ‘because such hurdles could not stop us from achieving goal’.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2014. 

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Mohammed
    Aug 12, 2014 - 4:24AM

    We are with you IK- let’s expose the fixers for once and all. Don’t back down!

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  • Dilawar Khan (Attock)
    Aug 12, 2014 - 10:10AM

    I was really surprised to hear the name of Khalil Ramday as centeral figure in vote rigging as he himself had led his wife’s Jinaza prayers others are no surprise because as they say your face is a picture of your heart.

    Recommend

  • Blithe
    Aug 12, 2014 - 11:38AM

    Is this “evidence ” acceptable bin court??? If no , then anybody can say anything .

    IK sounded desperate delusional in his sermon … he is clutching at straws…

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  • K Alam
    Aug 12, 2014 - 1:58PM

    i trust you IK as you are not a liar, and your only mission is welfare of people and strengthening of democracy in the country.

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  • JB
    Aug 12, 2014 - 2:33PM

    @Blithe Did you even read the whole thing? IK from day one wants an investigation conducted. How would you gather evidence if there is no investigation?

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  • Dilawar Khan (Attock)
    Aug 12, 2014 - 2:40PM

    @Blithe:
    These people are the court – what court are you talking about? PS …..Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan your name is a great one and my favorite but you are not doing justice to it….

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  • Sceptic
    Aug 12, 2014 - 3:32PM

    Imran Khan’s desperation has made him deranged. If he has evidence, why he is not putting it on the table?
    If the claimed rigging took place only in the Punjab, why PTI was unsuccessful in Sindh and Hazara? Could not Justice Chaudhry influenced elections in KPK if was assisting the N League?

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  • T Khan
    Aug 13, 2014 - 5:45AM

    @Blithe:
    If contesting that Gullu Butt was angry at some people and he broke stuff around and is a dear innocent man enough for courts to release him in Punjab, then this is real solid evidence in comparison. At least we can link effort and reward in the game of thrones :P

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  • Jameel
    Aug 13, 2014 - 12:29PM

    Nawaz Sharif is so desperate for power, he will do anything and everything to hold onto power because the Saudis have refused to allow him shelter again, despite him going begging to them a few weeks ago for the exile status. Saudis told him to get lost after he violated the last exile agreement they got for him. So now, Sharif is stuck, it’s either the PM house or jail. And we all know that he knows he cannot handle jail. Just go to Dailymotion or Youtube and search for his name and the word jail and you will see why!

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  • Saqib
    Aug 15, 2014 - 11:17AM

    We should ask CJ who has been convicted in Pakistan in last 5-10 years except poor. He as CJ could not sentence even a single terrorist and always pursued political glory. The justice system require major overhaul for the good of common people. There are no evidences against anyone although we all know very well that what Zardari did, how Nawaz did corruption (Asghar Khan case), how other politicians were involved in corruption (Effidrene case) but who has been sentenced and made an example of justice… He has no right to talk about this, I am utterly disappointed by his statement. Having said this, I am not denying that IK should produce evidences if he blame someone and an independent body should run fair investigations.

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