ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party Wednesday said that the Result Transmission System failure investigation by the government was nothing but an attempt to cover up the real crime of massive rigging.

In-charge of central election cell of the PPP Taj Haider said that the RTS was only required to transmit the data entered by the Presiding officers on Forms 45 to the Returning officers.

“If that basic data on these forms has been manipulated, then the alleged failure of the RTS becomes irrelevant as far as the fairness of the elections is concerned,” he said in a statement.

More than 90 per cent of Forms 45 and the Katchi Parchees available on the Election Commission of Pakistan website do not have signatures of any polling agent. “This is a gross and intentional violation of the Election Laws,” he added.

Thousands of these uploaded forms do not have signatures and thumb impressions of the Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers, he claimed.

“It is obvious that these officials, forced to prepare fake Forms 45 did not want to put their signatures or thumb impressions on fake documents,” he said.

Taj Haider said that instead of shifting the blame and trying to provide a massive cover up to the massive rigging, the need was for a forensic audit of the ECP documents uploaded on the ECP website and a thorough across the board investigation into the rigging by a Parliamentary Commission.

“Attempts to divert attention from the main issue can never deceive the common man whose political consciousness has attained high level,” he said.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Farhatullah Babar said yesterday journalists were being compelled to resort to self censorship.

Speaking at the launch of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan fact finding report on curbs on freedom of expression here, he said: “Some state institutions exercised power without accountability and were averse to transparency. This lay at the root of curbs of expression.”

Babar said reporting on terror also meant reporting counter terrorism and the way law enforcers and conduct themselves but “it is not allowed as it lifts the veil of secrecy from what the security agencies are doing.”

He said that freedom to express was the right of every citizen, not only of journalists, and asked people to make maximum use of the right to information law to expose wrongdoing, promote transparency and accountability.

He also called for implementing the December 2016 unanimous report of Senate on speedy and inexpensive justice.

Those who spoke on the occasion included I A Rehman, Afrasiab Khattak, Ziauddin, Rashid Rehman and Marvi Sirmed.