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Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan. — File Photo
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan. — File Photo

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf has identified “significant rigging instances” in as many as 20 constituencies in Punjab and decided to move Supreme Court and Election Commission of Pakistan “to seek justice”.

The PTI issued a list of 15 national and five Punjab Assembly constituencies claiming the party had “valid proofs” of rigging there.

PTI chairman Imran Khan has said in a message the ECP and SC should take the rigging complaints seriously because future of the country as well as democracy directly depended upon free and fair elections.

Mr Khan’s message was read by PTI Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry at a news conference at party’s provincial secretariat on Tuesday. PTI Punjab secretary general Dr Yasmin Rashid and 14 MPAs-elect of the party were present on the occasion.

On behalf of party chairman, Chaudhry also announced Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed’s nomination as party’s parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly. Mr Rasheed has been elected from PP-151.

The party’s Punjab president also objected to PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s “hasty” speech at 11.30pm on May 11 election day as a violation of code of conduct, which eventually led to the “change” of results.

He said the election rigging complaints were being filed for recounting of votes in 20 constituencies – NA-57, NA-81, NA-85, NA-86, NA-93, NA-118, NA-120, NA-122, NA-125, NA-127, NA-128, NA-135, NA-168, NA-170, NA-190 and PP-7, PP-68, PP-160, PP-281. Chaudhry Ejaz said the party was going to lodge complaint about “glaring rigging evidences” in 20 constituencies because it believed in the sanctity of state institutions. He alleged the rigging complaints were received from all the 297 constituencies, where police and polling station staff favoured PML-N. “Our winning candidates have not only defeated their opponents but also the rigging practices,” he claimed.

Answering a question, Chaudhry said if the ECP conducted forensic examination of ‘voters’ thumb impressions on counterfoils in just 10 selected constituencies facts could be separated from fiction.

Citing an example in NA-125, where National Assembly candidate Khawaja Saad Rafiq got 123,094 votes while his two provincial candidates obtained around 100,000 votes, Chaudhry asked, “Is it possible that some 25,000 PML-N supporters voted for Saad Rafique and did not vote for the two provincial assembly candidates,” he asked.

PTI’s provincial president said the public’s “natural outburst” against the results was another indication of foul play in the election process. He said people had come out to protest on their own when they saw that their mandate had been stolen.

“The protests are not a political stunt because the party is taking up its case with the state institutions in a democratic manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, the party had constituted a three-member committee headed by Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed that comprising MPAs-elect Sibtain Khan and Raja Rashid Hafeez to woo independents and other parties’ elected candidates for developing a strong opposition in the Punjab Assembly.

Regarding the sit-in in Defence Housing Authority, the provincial president said the party leadership should not stop the protesters and instead express solidarity with them.

While the sit-in continues, PTI candidate in the constituency, Hamid Khan, said it should be ended and a token two-hour sit-in should be observed at Lalak Jan Chowk, DHA, from 6pm daily.