ISLAMABAD: Soon after seeking the removal of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan to send the governor of Punjab home too as he could influence the general elections scheduled for July 25.
PTI leader Babar Awan wrote a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza on Friday, demanding an immediate removal of Punjab Governor Muhammed Rafique Rajwana. Earlier, the PTI had made the same demand for KP Governor Zafar Iqbal Jhagra.
The letter regarding Mr Rajwana’s removal said: “I want to bring your attention to an important issue that the Punjab governor and his family members have a close affiliation with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and, therefore, the issue is creating an imbalance in election process in Punjab.”
The letter claimed that under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution, the ECP was bound to hold free, impartial and transparent elections in the country, adding that it was prerequisite for the free and fair polls that the ECP should keep an eye on those who could influence the elections and provide an atmosphere acceptable to all parties and candidates.
Party believes the governor might influence the elections in favour of PML-N
“Therefore, the presence of the Punjab governor is paving the way of inequality in the province during the polls,” the letter said.
According to the PTI leader, there was nothing “hidden” about Mr Rajwana’s close association with the PML-N leadership and as a result his son was contesting for Punjab Assembly’s seat PP-214 from the party’s platform.
The letter said that on the one hand the ECP was trying to make the elections transparent by shaking up the bureaucracy at the federal and provincial levels and, on the other, the Punjab governor and his son were giving the commission a “new challenge”.
M Awan claimed that Punjab’s resources were being misused by the governor to facilitate “his own political party”.
“It is known to all that funds of provincial government are being utilised to get elections results favourable for the PML-N,” he said, adding that the ECP should take immediate notice of the issue and take steps to remove the governor.
“Mr Rajwana must be sent home for acting against the requirement of his position and creating inequality in the polls,” he added.
In a separate letter to the ECP, the PTI also demanded the removal of KP Governor Zafar Iqbal Jhagra.
Earlier, PTI chief Imran Khan had written to caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, demanding Mr Jhagra’s removal.
Mr Khan claimed that the governor might create a hurdle in holding transparent elections in the province.
He also demanded the removal of the district managements in Punjab and Sindh as they could obstruct the fair and free polls.
Mr Khan said that the officers appointed on key posts by the previous PML-N government should also be replaced.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2018