HYDERABAD: Inspired by the retired official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Afzal Khan, a judge in Tharparkar also claimed that he was witness to grave electoral violations in his jurisdiction.
The senior civil judge, Mian Fayyaz Rabbani, who was posted as the returning officer for NA-230, PS-62 and PS-63, claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s candidate Shah Mehmood Qureshi had lost due to rigging.
“There was large scale rigging in the constituency,” he told a press conference at his residence in Mithi, Tharparkar, on Tuesday evening. “I duly reported these violations to the ECP but no action has been taken so far.”
The candidates of Pakistan Peoples Party won all the seats which were under Rabbani’s jurisdiction. MNA Pir Noor Muhammad Shah Jeelani defeated Qureshi by a small margin of 2,051 votes. MPAs Makhdoom Khaliluz Zaman and Dost Muhammad Rahimon emerged victorious against the independent candidates, Arbab Anwar Jabbar and Dr Ghulam Hyder Samejo, who were allied with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
According to him, armed men had attacked 43 polling stations and burnt all the ballot papers on the day of the elections. He also claimed that the election staff was held hostage for three days until the army intervened and rescued them.
“The rigging and violence was such that I had to request for the army to be deployed during the elections,” he told.
In the PS-62 constituency of MPA Zaman, 3,000 fake NICs were found after NADRA launched an investigation into the forgery, he claimed. The judge, whom the Sindh High Court had assigned to inspect the drought relief inspection in March this year, also complained that the ECP did not provide adequate security at the polling stations even though he had warned of anticipated violence.
The PPP’s legislators, elected from the constituencies in question, could not be reached for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2014.