ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday identified three key persons who, he alleged, were key players in the massive rigging of 2013 general elections and that “none other than former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry headed all the rigging process”.
Imran Khan alleged that Justice (r) Riaz Kayani, member, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from Punjab, Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, former judge of the Supreme Court, and Punjab caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi were three key players in the 2013 General Elections rigging. “Former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry had a role in the rigging,” he asserted.
In his jam-packed press conference, attended also by his party workers, ahead of his departure to Lahore, Khan said the Nawaz Sharif government, later, awarded all those who were part this rigging and they were given high portfolios in the present government.
Imran Khan, welcoming the announcement of PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri to participate in his Azadi March, said their struggle was to strengthen democracy, as army could not bring about a revolution in the country. “Azadi March and Revolution March will go together,” he said, adding martial law was no solution to the problems of the country. The better democracy will bring prosperity to the country and it means meritocracy and to spend the tax money on the people, he asserted. It is necessary to bring transparency in the election process to have a real democracy. He demanded re-elections, saying if Nawaz Sharif wanted to save democracy, he would have to accept this demand. He, however, said no one could get justice in the ‘monarchy of Sharifs’.
Khan claimed that no one could stop the flood of people on August 14 and warned the civil servants and police not to obey illegal orders of the rulers, saying no police official should act as a personal servant of Sharifs. “The Punjab police should act as the police of the country and not as the police of a family,” he said. He reiterated the PTI march would be peaceful.
Khan alleged all the three key players had a key role in the rigging of the Punjab elections and demanded their trial under Article 6 of the Constitution. He said as long as accountability of those who rigged the last polls is not held, transparent elections could not be held in the country.
PTI Chief Imran Khan said that after his grand rally in Lahore before the 2013 elections, PML-N got afraid of the popularity of PTI and decided to bring its own umpires in the elections to win the elections. “I had confidence in former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, but I did not know for whom was batting for,” the PTI chief remarked. After his Lahore rally, powers of the chief election commissioner (CEC) were given to the ECP members who misused their authority, he alleged.
Narrating the tale how these key players were involved in the rigging, the PTI chief said ECP member, Justice (r) Riaz Hussain Kayani, transferred the Punjab election commissioner to Sindh on his refusal to obey his illegal orders and Anwar Mehboob was transferred from Sindh to Punjab. “Bureaucracy told me that the election was fixed, but I trusted the former CJP,” he said. “Kayani asked the Punjab election commissioner to meet PML-N candidate Pervez Malik and I was personally told that the match was fixed,” he claimed.
Khan said the returning officers (ROs) did not work under ECP in the elections. He alleged that former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Ramaday was the second player in the rigging who invited some specific ROs and deputy returning officers (DROs) to a dinner and former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry addressed them. “The former CJP, in his address, said only Nawaz Sharif could save this country,” Imran alleged, saying no one in the history has ever addressed ROs. Later, the former CJP paid tribute to the ROs, the PTI chief claimed.
“The third player was Punjab caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi who played from all sides of the wicket and made important transfers/postings before the general elections. Additional ballot papers were sent to five divisions of Punjab and an eyewitness told me that ballot boxes were sent to Khawaja Saad Rafique’s residence a day before the elections. The whole record would be available from the phone data of the returning officers,” Imran revealed. He said home, education and finance secretaries who were to actually control the elections were not transferred in the Punjab.
On May 9, the Punjab chief secretary was ordered to get hundreds of thousands of additional ballot papers printed. That chief secretary (Shahid Khan) was, later, rewarded by giving him the portfolio of the federal interior secretary, Khan reminded. “Outsourcing was done to get additional ballot papers printed,” he pointed outd. “An inquiry should be held on why additional ballot papers were printed,” he said, adding these were printed for rigging. He again alleged that Nadra officials were manipulating the results of ballot papers in COMSATS’ building.
Imran Khan said that after announcement of 15 percent election results, Nawaz Sharif made the victory speech. "Voters had gone home five hours ago and Nawaz Sharif was asking for a two-thirds majority,” he said.
Khan said that the government officials who were against the rigging were victimised, removed from their posts and booked in false cases like former Nadra chairman Tariq Malik. His name was put on ECL. Similarity, former Pemra chairman was also removed.
The PTI chairman said: “Those who were part of the rigging process were rewarded; Najam Sethi was made chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board though the court removed him from the post again and again; the son of Justice Ramday, Mustafa Ramday, was made the Punjab advocate general and his niece was got elected as an MNA on reserves seats, he added; Arslan Iftikhar, the son of former chief justice, was got appointed in Balochistan Investment Board. Tariq Bajwa, the Punjab finance secretary, was appointed Federal Board of Revenue chairman and the then ECP secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan was given extension twice”
Khan revealed that former NAB chairman Fasih Bokhari wrote a letter to President Asif Ali Zardari that a massive rigging was expected in the elections. Responding to questions, Khan said, “We will ask Tahirul Qadri that only transparent elections could bring a revolution in the country.” He said the people were being falsely warned that army would intervene due to the protest. He said the interior minister himself admitted that 60,000 to 70,000 votes were fake in every constituency.