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Imran Khan says will come out on streets against ECP

Updated August 25, 2015

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PTI chief Imran Khan (C) during a press conference in Islamabad, Aug 25, 2015. – DawnNews screengrab
PTI chief Imran Khan (C) during a press conference in Islamabad, Aug 25, 2015. – DawnNews screengrab

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday warned all members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to transparently answer the questions he raised or he will take to the streets once again.

Criticising the reply he received from the body over a letter he had sent questioning its shortcomings in light of the Judicial Commission report, Khan said it was his right to pose questions not only as a Pakistani but also as the chairman of a major political party.

The PTI chief said his lawyer had drafted and sent a letter to the election body, asking it questions over the body's “lapses” and “shortcomings” as detailed by the three-member Supreme Court commission, adding that the ECP's reply was a “joke”.

Read: ECP provincial officials have no moral standing left and should resign: Imran

“My letter was in fact extracted from the JC report in which the honourable judges found the ECP to have not conducted its job,” said Khan.

He said in response to his letter, the ECP had sent him a reply saying “the commission is a constitutional body and only a higher authority can seek explanations from it.”

The ECP in its letter said no “other party or agency” can intervene or dictate terms, adding that only the body itself can decide on action required after the JC report. The commission also expressed “dismay” over Imran Khan's “tone and tenor.”

A copy of the ECP's response to Imran Khan.
A copy of the ECP's response to Imran Khan.

“They are saying who am I to ask them these questions? I am the head of the party that received millions of votes. I deserve to get answers.”

“Provincial members of the ECP got paid upto Rs800,000 per month, what were they paid for? There is no record of 250 million votes,” remarked Khan.

Lambasting the ECP for the reply he received, Khan said the ECP had insulted former chief justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk and his 40-point observations regarding the ECP.

Khan also added that a total of 213 petitions were submitted against the election results, out of which 80 per cent were dismissed on technicalities.

But Khan said he will exhaust all legal means to put the commission to task, and will then protest against the members at all forums.

“I will go to the Parliament and use all legal channels… I don’t want to go to the streets… so please don't make me do it,” said Khan, adding that he will even protest outside the ECP.

“When every stakeholder claims that the ECP was responsible for largescale mismanagement ... 21 political parties claim there was rigging in 2013, does the body not deserve to be taken to task?”

“Will the body that has received a no confidence vote from all corners manage local government elections and by-polls?”

Also read: NA-122 election tribunal deseats Ayaz Sadiq, orders re-polling

Khan said only the PML-N had faith in the present election commission, adding that this strengthened his belief that the ruling party had colluded with the ECP to “fix matches.”

Khan said he had tasked Shah Mehmood Qureshi to meet and gather all parties that had voiced discontent over the ECP to gather momentum against the body.

“We are evaluating moving the Supreme Judicial council over ECP's shortcomings and lack of transparency,” added Khan.

Earlier this week, Imran Khan had said that the ECP provincial officials have no legal or moral standing left and they should immediately resign.

Imran also had said that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) chairman should also tender his resignation as he was part of covering-up the rigging that took place in the general elections of 2013.

Last week, Punjab election commission's tribunal had ordered re-polling in National Assembly constituency, NA-122, declaring the election in the constituency null and void – accepting Imran Khan's petition challenging the 2013 election result.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had defeated PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the 2013 general elections from NA-122 after which PTI had challenged the results.