LAHORE, May 15: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan asked the Election Commission (ECP) on Wednesday to order recounting of votes, with forensic examination of voters’ thumb impressions, in four constituencies of the National Assembly “to regain public confidence in the elections”.
In a video message from his hospital bed played at a press conference here on Wednesday, he said rigging might have taken place in 25 constituencies of the National Assembly and urged the ECP to address his party’s concerns before announcing results.
About the post-poll scenario, he said his party would form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and play the role of opposition at the centre.
The verification of voters’ thumb impressions would help identify rigging, satisfy those protesting against it and discourage such practices in future, he added.
On the basis of research, he said, the PTI believed the recounting with verification of thumb impressions would take only two days.
The PTI chief said the whole exercise of using computerised national identity cards, photographs and thumb impressions of voters would become futile if not used to verify results
Mr Khan said it was the first time that people had come out in such a large number to cast votes after standing in queues for hours.
The confidence of new voters would be shaken if the ECP refused to allay their concerns, he said, and added that the verification of results would strengthen democracy.
Although the PTI chief called for recounting in four NA constituencies, Ejaz Chaudhry, president of the Punjab chapter of the party, called for recounting in six constituencies — NA57 (Attock), 110 (Sialkot), 122 and 125 (Lahore), 154 (Lodhran) and 239 (Karachi).
The party’s General Secretary, Dr Yasmin Rashid, gave a three-day deadline to the ECP to accept the request for recounting. Otherwise a party meeting would be convened to work out a protest plan.
Dr Yasmin dismissed PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s request to Mr Khan to bury the hatchet and said the differences between the two leaders were of a political nature, and not personal. “There will be no friendly match. The PTI will continue its political struggle.”
However, Imran Khan said they had severe differences with the PML-N but the elections were over and now every stakeholder, including the PTI, wanted to move ahead.
He said people wanted all stakeholders to sit together and steer the country out of crisis.
He described terrorism as the main problem facing the country and said without eradicating the menace, prosperity could not even be dreamt of.
Mr Khan said the PTI would work with the federal government and army to resolve the issue of terrorism in KP. “I have talked to Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani about the issue of terrorism,” he added.
“My party will translate its vision of “New Pakistan” in KP by transforming it into a model province, revamping its public institutions and police system and reviving local bodies’ system,” Imran Khan said.
AFP adds: Mr Khan vowed to cooperate with incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif on terrorism and other major challenges. “We have decided that despite severe differences that we have, we will work together to resolve major national problems, including terrorism.”
He said he wanted all politicians and the military to sit down together and find a solution to terrorism.