ISLAMABAD : Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) filed a petition in Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday against alleged rigging in National Assembly constituency NA-71, Mianwali, by-elections.

The petition said that NA-71 election should be declared null and void. It said that the ECP should order verification of the votes through thumb impression, besides checking the record of ballot papers. The PTI also submitted a CD and documentary evidence regarding rigging in the election.

Talking to the media persons, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Vice Chairman and Deputy Paramilitary Leader of PTI, said that disqualification of Ayla Malik from contesting the NA-71 by-elections in July on the grounds that she had a fake degree was a plan to keep her out of the elections and therefore the election was unfair and unjust. Qureshi said that code of conduct was violated during the election campaign in Mianwali.

 The Punjab government, he said, had pledged several development projects ahead of the polling. "Ayla Malik was disqualified while her appeal was also not heard," he said.

He added that it is the responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to check this and keep the elections clean and unbiased. The PTI has protested against this and will continue to do so, he said. It has also filed a petition with the ECP and will be providing video evidence in addition to other evidence.

Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench election tribunal had declared Ayla Malik ineligible to contest based on the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education's (RBISE) finding that her intermediate degree was forged in July. The PTI chairman Imran Khan had previously stated that the candidate's degree was not fake but was a case of 'technical lacuna'. The seat was vacated by PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

PTI lawyer Babar Awan said that NA-71 was the biggest case of election rigging and he would present more rigging evidence in this regard.