PESHAWAR - Expressing concerns over alleged pre-polls rigging in NA-47 Frontier Region, Kohat, Abidur Rahman, an independent candidate, has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of the issue and ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

Speaking at 'Meet the Press' programme organised by the Peshawar Press Club here on Wednesday, Rahman said that the political administration of FR-Kohat had recently revised the polling staffs list against the original one issued earlier. He also alleged that former provincial minister Sher Azam Khan Wazir was enjoying the support of Election Commission's officials. "This is pre-polls rigging and the ECP must take action against its officials," he asked.

In the revised list, he said that the polling staffs in the respective constituency were serving in private educational institutions in other districts like Bannu and D.I Khan.

"In these circumstances free, fair and transparent polls will be mare a dream," he maintained. Under the polls rigging plan, he alleged a large number of voters were intentionally registered in Peshawar, Badhbher and other districts.

He said that vote was the basic right of everyone but now this practice was carried out to deprive more than 6,500 registered voters from their legitimate right.

Flanked by former MNA Dr Nasim Afridi, notables and supporters from NA-49 Kohat FR regions, he maintained that the district returning office had also been shifted to FR Bannu from Kohat a month ago.

He said that the local people also protested against this step. He said that they had informed the Election Commission of Pakistan via a letter about shifting of DRO office and pre-polls rigging plan of former provincial minister Sher Azam Wazir and officials, but to no avail.

He said that an independent candidate Haji Baz Gul also submitted a petition in the Peshawar High Court against the rigging programme in NA-47 but the court was yet to take action against it.

He demanded the chief election commissioner, chief justice to take immediate notice of the pre-polls rigging plan in NA-47 and ensure free, fair, transparent and peaceful election in the Kohat regions.

He also asked the ECP to issue order to revise previous list of polling staffs, replacement of additional secretary Election Commission Bannu with an impartial and neutral one along with deployment of Army units in the constituency on the polling day.

He warned that if in time steps were not taken, the ECP would be responsible for any incident happened before and after the elections in the constituency.