ISLAMABAD: An inquiry commission probing rigging allegations in May 2013 general elections concluded its proceedings on Friday after 86 days and reserved its verdict.
A three-judge commission headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan held 39 hearings, wherein 69 witnesses were presented. The first hearing of the commission was held on April 9.
“Perhaps, the commission will give its findings before Eidul Fitr,” an official close to the commission said. The chief justice is set to retire on August 18 and it is expected that the commission will give its findings by the end of this month.
Further, top jurists namely Abdul Hafiz Pirzada, Aitzaz Ahsan and Shahid Hamid who are representing the major political parties have lauded the chief justice for conducting smooth proceedings of the commission.
ECP’s counsel Salman Akram Raja while concluding his arguments admitted before the commission that the custody of post-election material needs to be improved and the federal government as well as the Parliament should look into this affair. “ECP is facing immense shortage of funds and despite several requests the government did not raise funds,” Raja added.
Further, the chief justice questioned what the future planning of the ECP is regarding storage of post-election material. The ECP counsel replied that the commission has already asked the federal government to allocate land for building a storage for post-election material.
Earlier, The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had raised questions over the ‘neutrality’ of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) before the inquiry commission.
PTI counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada informed the three-judge commission that the ECP on every step of the way balked at providing the record of the last elections, adding that the poll authority should have made available the entire record pertaining to the elections 2013 on day one.