LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to approach the top election supervisory body with ‘evidence of changes in the voters list of the NA-122 by-poll’.
Addressing a news conference in Lahore on Wednesday, PTI Chairman Imran Khan also reiterated the party’s claim that the 2013 general elections were rigged. He said that with a dedicated cell investigating into changes in the voters list, the party would be in a position to bring forth its findings in a week’s time to present before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Lashing out against the Punjab election commission, the PTI chief said his party was already convinced that the body was working in connivance with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
During his visit to the party office in Lahore’s Garhi Shahu town, Imran congratulated Abdul Aleem Khan, the PTI’s NA-122 (Lahore-V) candidate, and Shoaib Siddiqui, who won the PP-147 (Lahore-XI) by-poll.
“Our candidates weren’t fighting against the PML-N, but against the federal and provincial governments,” the party chief said. “Our war is not limited to contesting the NA-122 by-poll. It continues until a system of justice is established and electoral reforms are introduced.”
Referring to the jubilant atmosphere at the Garhi Shahu office, he said the passion of the workers gave the impression that the party had won the NA-122 election.
Imran accused the PML-N of using state machinery to influence the voters, and criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for visiting the city a day before the by-polls. “Is this your election? The ECP should be independent, transparent and empowered.”
Reiterating the PTI’s allegation of rigging in the 2013 general elections, the party chief said had that not been the case, Shoaib Siddiqui would not have won the PP-147 by-poll.
He dismissed the government’s claim that Ayaz Sadiq’s win had proved that the allegations of rigging were false. “Shoaib Siddiqui’s win proves that the 2013 elections were rigged.” Narrating the genesis of the PTI and how it had struggled over the years, Imran dispelled the notion that he was unable to differentiate between an ideological worker and one who is self-serving. “I know each worker, because the party has grown before me. I can distinguish real from fake.”
He also warned the PTI members against complaining about awarding of party tickets, saying that only merit and justice were rewarded in the party.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.