ISLAMABAD - At a time when Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has been accusing election authorities of being involved in the last year’s poll rigging and some political parties question the tilt of election officials towards certain political figures, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday dared critics to prove the allegation on constitutional forum instead of baselessly maligning the institution.
Member Punjab Justice (retired) Riaz Hussain Kiyani, one of the five powerful members of ECP, according to official sources, was much annoyed with opposition political parties particularly PTI and PPP for blaming him for his partiality and his soft corner for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Nawaz).
On many occasions PTI has publicly questioned the partial role of members ECP to what the election officials told The Nation had multiplied the anger of the current four members representing each province.
The Members ECP who scrupulously avoid issuing statements to media, according to the sources, have been whispering during internal meetings discussing the tirade against them by political figures in media.
This is perhaps the reason that ECP on Tuesday issued statement lamenting the baseless objections by opposition parties over the biasness of ECP members and dared the opposition parties to challenge the partiality of members before a constitutional forum.
Referring to a news report in The Nation appeared on July 12 this year that quoted Opposition Leader in National Assembly Syed Khurshid dubbing Member ECP Punjab Justice (retired) Riaz Hussain Kiani as PML-N’s man, the statement said, “The proclivity of the ECP members should be raised at a proper constitutional forum and should refrain from blaming them without any evidence”.
The sources close to the ECP member of Punjab told this reporter that opposition parties that question the impartiality of the member should prove the allegation in Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) but should avoid publicly humiliating the ‘honourable’ member without any strong evidences.
The ECP’s statement comes at a time when Arsalan Iftikhar, son of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has got nomination papers of Imran Khan seeking his disqualification as MNA for hiding facts from election authorities.
According to experts, four members of ECP including Justice (retired) Riaz Hussain Kiani would hear the case once Speaker National Assembly sends the case to ECP for ascertaining the allegations leveled by Arsalan against Imran Khan.
“Each day Imran Khan digs his own grave by maligning ECP members and officials without having any solid proof. We are really annoyed. All members of the ECP are retired judges of high courts having a boltless career. The members are angry over concocted allegations against them,” a source close to an ECP member said.