Submitting its written arguments, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has requested the inquiry commission probing alleged rigging in the 2013 elections to assign to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) to find out who manipulated the last elections’ result by design.
“Use the investigating agencies/teams available at the disposal of the honorable commission under section 6(2) of the General Election 2013 Inquiry Commission Ordinance, 2015 to find out who manipulated/influenced the election pursuant to a systematic effort by design, as rest of the two aspects of the TORs ie (i) result has been materially affected; and (ii) the PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] is the beneficiary, have already been proved”, says the reply, filed by PML-Q attorneys Dr Khalid Ranjha and Mobeenuddin Qazi.
They contended that the commission would have to seek the services of the country’s investigating agencies which are not under the political influence of the government in power to collect further corroborative evidence.
The reply says that the implementing hands in the shape of ROs have been identified, whereas, to identify the person responsible for preparing the rigging design/plan, the suspicion obviously falls on the PML-N as it is the sole beneficiary of having been swept into power through the process of rigging of elections.
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The party says there is sufficient evidence and information available on the record to prove that the mandatory requirements of law were not observed, hence the elections, especially in Punjab, lost their sanctity.
PTI demands action
Meanwhile, giving arguments on behalf of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Abdul Hafeez Pirzada told the commission that returning officers (ROs) and presiding officers (POs) have committed violation of the Representation of People Act 1976 and there is a two-year jail sentence under this law. “Show cause notices should be issued to the ROs and POs who did not follow the ECP guidelines.”
He contended that the responsibility has been cast upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) under Article 218 of the Constitution to hold elections in the country, but it failed to fulfill its obligations. The sanctity of the ballot paper was damaged.
The PTI counsel stated that 70% to 80% extra ballot papers were printed for Punjab. The purpose was to get maximum seats in the Punjab. Upon that the chief justice inquired as to whether he was suggesting that extra ballot papers were not printed in other provinces. He also referred the National Database Regulatory Authority’s (Nadra) pre-scanned reports in NA-154 and NA-122, where alleged irregularities were committed.
Pirzada argued there were selective constituencies where extra ballots were printed, and questioned why the enormous additional ballot papers were printed for the Lahore constituencies.
Pizada said illegality is pervasive almost in all the constituencies and something is wrong one way or the other.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2015.