ISLAMABAD - Anxiety among members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is growing with the fast approaching deadline of 15-day notice of the apex court to the ECP in response to Hamid Khan’s petition about elections rigging.
“They are worried. But they are trying to evolve strong legal defence,” credible sources privy to these developments told The Nation on Sunday.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani issued a 15-day notice after hearing the petition on May 8.
Khan in his arguments had pleaded that the 15-day period given by the apex court to the ECP was unnecessary, and stressed that the next hearing should be conducted as soon as possible to speed up the matter.
But on 2 May, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had demanded of the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) to take “suo motu action” against what he claimed was the pre-planned rigging in the general election of May 11, 2013.
On May 11, Imran Khan told charged rally of his party activists in Islamabad that PTI would stage protest rallies in front of the ECP on each Friday to press its demand.  
On the other hand, the ECP on May 13 had sent a letter to all the Election Tribunals directing them to expedite the proceedings of election petitions pending with them and sought a report mentioning reasons for delay within a week.
The PTI Chief has been demanding thumb verification of votes polled in four National Assembly seats including that of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Railways Minister Saad Rafique.
In the meanwhile the government had offered the PTI leadership to have a parliamentary committee but the PTI rejected the offer and left the matter to the Supreme Court to decide.
On its part NADRA, which assisted ECP in preparing the electoral rolls used in the general elections had admitted that its Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) was not amply capable to process and verify the thumb impressions because of their bad quality.