ISLAMABAD - Former additional secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan Muhammad Afzal Khan has alleged that the general elections in May 2013 were rigged and that the people's mandate was ‘stolen’ through organised vote fraud.
He said that former chief justices Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Tasadduq Jillani were also involved in rigging the vote.
Afzal Khan made the allegation in an interview with a private TV channel on Sunday night, in which he said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not win the elections in a free and fair manner.
He said Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim had shut his eyes on the rigging.
The former additional secretary said that the Election Commission had been put under tremendous pressure during the alleged rigging.
Khan said judges were also involved in fixing the vote and that hearings of vote fraud were deliberately delayed.
"Hundreds of punctures (constituencies) were fixed (rigged) in the last year's elections not just 35 as believed earlier," Khan told the channel.
Khan further said previously he had only suspicions, but now was sure of the epic corruption in the elections.
The former ECP official has opened a Pandora's box at a time when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is staging a massive protest outside Parliament House demanding prime minister's resignation, electoral reforms and a re-election under new reforms.
During the interview, he claimed that organised vote fraud changed the outcome of the polls altogether. “How did Chaudhry Nisar know that sealed votes were unverifiable?” he questioned.
Afzal Khan matained that 'everyone' manipulated the vote according to his or her 'might'.
Justice (retd) Riaz Kiani is 90 percent responsible for corrupting ECP, he said and added the posting of Returning Officers (ROs) was ECP's job not former CJ's.
In reaction, former ECP member Justice (retd) Riaz Kiani while talking to a private TV channel dubbed Khan’s allegations as a pack of lies. “He is lying. Why did he not blow the whistle back then? Someone is pulling his strings,” Kiani told the channel.
Reacting to the interview, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan commended Afzal Khan and said that the former additional secretary's remarks vindicated the PTI’s stance.
Imran said Afzal Khan's statements show that the position for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was untenable and again reiterated his demand that the premier must resign.
Former Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah dismissed Afzal Khan's remarks and said "People like these are specially prepared for occasions such as this."
Sanaullah said Imran Khan's protest movement has been a flop and that Afzal Khan like the PTI chief was being used as a pawn.
However, analysts say Afzal Khan’s jumping into scene was not random as some have even gone as far as calling him a trump card that PTI had so far kept close to its chest.
“PTI will be the biggest beneficiary of these disclosures if they are true,” said an analyst.