Army supervised process of printing ballots, judicial commission told

Published: May 15, 2015
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Chief Justice says proceedings of judicial commission should preferably conclude within 45 days PHOTO: AFP

Chief Justice says proceedings of judicial commission should preferably conclude within 45 days PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The process of printing ballot papers was carried out under the supervision of the armed forces and representatives of the Election Commission of Pakistan, witnesses told a judicial commission formed to probe alleged rigging in the 2013 elections.

During the hearing of the judicial commission on Friday, former managing director of Printing Corporation Pakistan (PCP) Musa Raza Afandi, former managing director PCP Lahore Muhammad Rafiq and Managing Director Pakistan Post Foundation Ijaz Ahmad recorded their statements.

Read: ‘Vote fraud’ probe: 200 printers hired two days before polls, panel told

The witnesses revealed that the process of printing ballot papers was carried out under the supervision of the armed forces and representatives of the ECP.

“Army officials were deployed inside and outside the printing press,” a PCP official said.

Earlier, responding to the testimony of the former election commissioner of Punjab, who revealed that extra ballot papers were printed in several of the province’s constituencies, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also said that the ballots were printed under the army’s supervision.

Read: Rigging probe: Ballots printed under army supervision, says PML-N

In a written reply submitted to the inquiry commission, PML-N’s counsel Shahid Hamid admitted that the process of printing and delivery of ballot papers for the polls was delayed because of outdated printing machines, shortage of manpower and capacity issues.

Claiming that the ECP took all major decisions in consultation with political parties, the government in its response made it clear that private corporations printed ballots under the supervision of the army. The ruling PML-N incorporated this aspect repeatedly in its reply to satisfy the qualms of opposition parties.

Further, during the proceedings today May 14, the commission, summoned provincial election commissioner Sindh to appear before the bench on Monday.

Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk also said that the judicial commission should preferably be concluded within 45 days.

When the PTI’s counsel Abdul Hafiz Pirzada sought adjournment for, the commission’s member Justice Amir Hani Mulsim observed that they are running short of time as the parties themselves fixed the period of the probe to 45 days.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Yasir
    May 15, 2015 - 3:29PM

    First question is WHY you printed it ?
    Answer this and than try to pull army in JC in a hope that by doing so you will be saved. Recommend

  • oBSERVER
    May 15, 2015 - 3:37PM

    Armed Forces were deployed for security purpose and it was the duty of Election Commission officials to ensure that there is no hanky panky. Little did they know that it is these very people who have been assgined the ‘job’. So what do you do now. Army should take exception to this broad statement.EC is trying to hide behind this silly argument. Rigging was done under supervision PML N local leadership that originated from infamous Modal Town.Recommend

  • Timorlane
    May 15, 2015 - 3:42PM

    and who supervised process of printing ballots in Urdu Bazar ??Recommend

  • Tufan Agha
    May 15, 2015 - 3:59PM

    Ballot Papers were printed under protection of Army for some specific days. Certain space for printing of illegal printing still existed.
    1.What happened before Army came in printing press and when they went back is a big question.
    1. Where all were ballot papers printed privately ?
    2. How were bags stuffed with illegal votes.Recommend

  • MUNIB
    May 15, 2015 - 4:10PM

    In every election X number of extra papers are printed for emergency purposes but PTI trolls just like IK need to make a hue and cry over it.

    And EC has already mentioned that all those extra prints are counted for and its complete record is available.

    When will PTI strop crying and using media just to keep a dead issue alive ?Recommend

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