LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan congratulated party workers and activists on Wednesday for displaying conviction and passion in the NA-122 by-polls, and said PTI had created a cell to investigate the issue of ‘transferred and missing votes’ from the constituency, whose findings will be presented to a “free and fair election commission.”
“For now we will remain tight lipped, but as soon as our probe is complete, we will take action accordingly.”
Addressing party workers and activists in Garhi Shahu, Imran slammed the ruling PML-N for what he called were “pre-poll intimidatory tactics and rigging.”
He said nowhere in the world was an incumbent prime minister allowed to take part in an election campaign. “Sitting ministers – for railways and BISP – were also involved in campaigns in the constituency,” he said.
“I am the chairman of a party and I have the right to share my manifesto,” said the PTI chief, in an implicit remark after a court order had earlier banned him from campaigning in the by-poll.
Imran Khan also challenged PML-N’s claim that no rigging had taken place in the 2013 election, labeling Ayaz Sadiq’s victory as vindication.
“By that logic, Shaoib Siddiqui’s victory in the PP-147 by-poll means there was rigging in the 2013 election,” said the PTI chief.
Imran Khan also congratulated Aleem Khan, his party’s candidate from NA-122, for giving PML-N a run for its money.
“Just imagine, the party chairman (Imran Khan) lost in 2013 with a margin of 8,500 votes but Aleem Khan loses barely by 2,500 votes. Does this mean Aleem Khan has more votes than Imran Khan?”
“It means the 2013 polls were massively rigged,” claimed the PTI chairman.
The PTI chief was flanked by Aleem Khan, Jahangir Tareen and other senior party members during the address.
No pre-poll rigging in by-polls: Nisar
Earlier in the day, addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said there was “no question of pre-poll rigging” in the recently held by-elections in Lahore, Radio Pakistan reported.
Nisar urged Imran Khan and the PTI to accept election results with an open heart and to stay away from “creating tension,” keeping national interests in mind.
“Imran Khan is levelling baseless allegations about registration and transfer of voters from NA-122 Lahore,” said the minister, advising the PTI chief to refrain from bringing disrepute to national institutions.
Nisar said a vote is transferred from one constituency to another only through an application in which the voter is required to attach a copy of his identity card.