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Election tribunal given until Oct 25 to decide Karachi rigging

October 08, 2013

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Central leader of MQM and Sindh MPA, Faisal Sabzwari speaks during a press conference at Nine-Zero in Karachi. – File Photo
Central leader of MQM and Sindh MPA, Faisal Sabzwari speaks during a press conference at Nine-Zero in Karachi. – File Photo

KARACHI: Following revelation of the NADRA report regarding likely poll rigging on a massive scale in a Karachi constituency, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday directed an election tribunal to decide the matter until October 25, DawnNews reported.

A National Database and Registration Authority report submitted to an election tribunal on Monday revealed only 6,815 of the total 84,748 ballots sent to Nadra for verification, of certain polling stations in NA-256 constituency could be successfully authenticated.

It said the thumb impressions on 57,642 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system due to poor quality of the fingerprints.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movements (MQM) candidate, Iqbal Muhammad Khan had won the seat. Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Zubair Khan later challenged the poll result, saying it was rigged.

Reacting on the matter, central leader of MQM and Sindh MPA, Faisal Sabzwari said rigging allegations were continuation of political victimisation aimed at his party.

Speaking to media representatives at MQM’s headquarters “Nine-Zero” in Karachi, he said Nadra’s verification report for NA-256 was similar to an earlier report for NA-258 constituency. Despite similarity in the two reports, why election in NA-256 was being branded as rigged only, he questioned.

Explaining difference between unverified and counterfeit ballots, Sabzwari said majority of ballots from the constituency were unverified due to poor quality of paper and magnetic ink. “Providing ballot papers and ink of a good quality was not MQM’s responsibility,” he added.

The MQM leader reiterated the party stance that its mandate in the port city was being attacked. He demanded for ballot verification across the country.

MQM’s winning candidate from NA-256 Iqbal Muhammad Ali, party leaders Asif Hasnain and Wasim Akhtar among others flanked Sabzwari during the media interaction.