ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan rejected on Wednesday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) allegations of pre-poll rigging in the recently held by-polls in NA-122, Lahore.
“Allegations have been levelled on the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) without any basis,” Nisar told media men in Islamabad, claiming he had rigorously investigated the allegations but could not find anything substantial.The interior minister advised PTI chief Imran Khan to stay away from the politics of confrontation, saying it was not in favour of Pakistan.
“Several external and internal elements want Pakistan to remain engaged in issues,” he said.Nadra does not have any authority to shift anyone’s vote from one constituency to another, Nisar claimed, adding it was only the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of Pakistan to do so. Even the ECP can only do so once a request is filed by the voter, he clarified.
The interior minister read out figures of transfer of votes from five constituencies of Punjab, claiming the PTI leadership once again hurled baseless allegations without any prior investigation.“Nadra automatically sends information to the ECP of all voters who attain the age of 18 years,” he said.
Nisar said the government accepted all demands of PTI leadership, i.e. constitution of a judicial commission to probe 2013 polls, installing cameras in polling stations, etc. “There should be a limit to Imran’s demands. I hope the PTI leadership will first investigate before hurling allegations,” he said, adding the party should learn to accept its defeat.
The PTI leadership had earlier expressed its concern over alleged pre-poll rigging in NA-122 by-election, where the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate Sardar Ayaz Sadiq won the battle royal after getting 4,161 votes more than his rival Aleem Khan of PTI.Imran had earlier warned its party activists of expected rigging in the Punjab by-polls. “They have planned to rig the election in women polling stations. My tigresses, be prepared as you all have to stop this. Be present in the stations,” the PTI supremo had advised his female party members while addressing an election rally in Samanabad, Lahore on October 4.Nisar also announced that 10,000 troops and 6,000 paramilitary officials will be deployed to prevent sectarian violence during the holy month of Moharram.
“We have adopted a pro-active strategy like previous years and some 10,000 personnel from the army and another 6,300 from civil armed forces, including Rangers and Frontier Corps, will be deployed across Pakistan for security during the month of Moharram.”Meanwhile, the PTI chairman said his party was investigating alleged rigging in NA-122.
“We are investigating pre-poll rigging and have constituted a cell for it,” Imran told party workers gathered outside the party’s Lahore office to celebrate the PTI’s provincial candidate Shoaib Siddiqui’s victory in PP-147 by-poll.The PTI chief said his party will approach the ECP once the investigation is complete.