ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday rejected the allegations levelled by Chairman PTI Imran Khan regarding the alleged printing of hundreds of thousands of extra ballot papers during general elections 2013 by provincial election commissioner Punjab through private printing presses located in Urdu Bazaar, Lahore.

The ECP said that printing of ballot papers is a highly sensitive, huge and complex process having many dimensions and therefore the ECP takes maximum possible security measures to ensure that every single ballot paper is printed and delivered to the returning officers in a secured manner through a detailed action plan. The ECP said that the decision to print ballot papers for May 2013 general elections was taken by the ECP in the meeting held with the authorities of the Printing Corporation of Pakistan Press (PCPP), Islamabad, and Pakistan Security Printing Corporation (PSPC), Karachi, on 6th and 7th September 2012. The ballot papers are printed on a special non-market paper, which is procured by the PCPP. According to PCPP, they procured this paper from two paper mills. The exact number of ballot papers to be printed for each constituency is communicated to the provincial election commissioners by the returning officers concerned keeping in view the number of voters in each constituency under their respective jurisdiction and the former, in turn, sends this number to the respective printing presses. The entire record containing the names of the representatives of the returning officers along with details of exact number of ballot paper books handed over to them is available with the respective printing press which can be produced as and when required by any competent forum that may be appointed for the purpose of investigation of these allegations.

Each ballot paper book contains 100 leaves and ballot paper books of a constituency bear a continuous serial number on their counterfoils so as to have a complete record of each and every ballot paper book. The ballot papers thus printed are handed over directly to the returning officer or his representatives by the respective printing presses. On receipt of ballot papers, the returning officer carries out bulk breaking of all sensitive material including ballot papers and prepares polling station-wise invoice of the same. Thereafter, the ballot papers are put in the polling bags according to the invoices and then the bags are properly sealed and handed over to the respective presiding officers one day before the poll against a proper receipt.

PEC Punjab Mahboob Anwar has submitted a statement to the ECP containing all necessary details, whereby he has rebutted the charges levelled against him by Imran.