LAHORE - The Transparency International Pakistan, taking notice of the charges regarding pre-poll rigging in Senate elections, has requested the Chief Election Commissioner to ensure free and fair elections.

TIP chairman Sohail Muzaffar, in a letter addressing CEC Justice (r) Sardar Raza Khan, said that transparent electoral process should be ensured, without any allegations of rigging by force or selling of votes by the parliamentarians.

The letter further speaks, “The allegations and apprehensions of rigging in the Senate elections are published in the media, and needed to be addressed by the Election Commission of Pakistan.”

PPP candidate former MNA Syed Akhunzada Chattan has levelled allegations that rate of one vote has reached over Rs400 million which is a matter of serious concern, and if it is true, the situation would damage the CEC’s perception, the letter added.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has already stated that the Senate has become an open market where anyone can come and buy a seat, and warned of countrywide sit-ins if the Senate elections were rigged.

The TIP demanded the ECP to contact both the national leaders and ask them to substantiate their allegations.

All candidates’ legal requirements for taking part in the Senate elections should be scrutinised according to Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which state the necessary qualifications for induction in the Parliament. If the ECP finds any parliamentarian involved in selling of vote, he and the buyer should be tried under NAO 1999 for corruption, the letter added.

Talking to The Nation, TIP head Adil Gillani said, “What sort of election is this that the PPP has issued its ticket to Shama Mithani, former MPA from Sindh who was involved in preparation of fake travel documents for America.”

He said that Shama was deported from Abu Dhabi last year due to fake stamp of FIA on her travel documents and her Green Card of the US was also cancelled.

The TIP also forwarded copies of the said letter to the PM’s secretary, Leader of Opposition Khursheed Shah and the Supreme Court Registrar, requesting them to take action in this regard under their mandate.

Qadri accuses rulers

of pre-poll rigging

INP adds: PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has said that the rulers have distributed over Rs 12 billion funds as bribe for development only to win the coming Senate elections, which amounts to pre-polls rigging.

He said this is one reason that the people no more trust this kind of democratic system.

Addressing a party meeting, he asked the Chief Election Commissioner that why he is silent on this clear violation of the Constitution.

He said that the attitude of the government towards the Model Town incident and other national issues is becoming more rigid and PAT and Minhajul Quran are being victimised.

He said that the time was not far when the dirty faces of the killers of the Model Town incident would be exposed and the whole world would then realise that how vicious and criminal the Punjab government and its representatives were.

He said to fight and eliminate terrorism the country needed to have a single command and control system. He said that the federal and provincial governments have a soft corner for terrorists and do not want to see the National Action Plan succeed.

He said that those who claimed that they will bring back looted money from Swiss Banks have themselves shifted Rs 500 billion to Dubai.