Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair on Sunday expressed serious concerns over the fairness of the July 25 elections, alleging that the polls were "managed" to secure victory for a particular political party.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi a day after he stepped down from his post, Zubair said although he wasn't required to resign after the elections, he had done so because as per democratic traditions the new federal government should have the authority to appoint the governors of its choice.

Zubair, who belongs to the PML-N, expressed reservations over the manner in which last Wednesday's elections were conducted, saying these were the other reasons that led him to step down.

"I don't think there is any doubt left that the 2018 elections were managed to make a particular party win, and that too in a way that it is easily able to form the government," he alleged.

He claimed that no one had expected that polling agents of parties would be expelled during the counting of ballots "from Peshawar to Karachi".

"The responsibility for counting [votes] belonged to officers of the election commission and the polling agents. It was not the responsibility of any other department to sit there and count and dictate how the counting would be done and result would be disclosed."

Referring to a technical fault in the result transmission system (RTS) that was cited by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as the reason behind the delay in the release of results, he said: "I want to ask this: did the RTS malfunction, or was it made to malfunction?"

"If there was a fault [with the RTS], why was the nation not informed about it at 8pm?" he asked, adding that the ECP should show some remorse over how events unfolded. "Who will own responsibility for the RTS breaking down?"

"The army was deployed for security, not for the election commission to abdicate its responsibilities and let them [army troops] define how the counting would be done and who would stay inside [the polling station] and who would remain outside."

See: Foreign observers find no meddling by troops in polling

He also complained of a non-level playing field before the elections, saying the PML-N's election campaign was harmed through contempt and disqualification cases against its leaders and jail sentences against its senior leadership.

Sources had earlier told Dawn that Zubair's resignation had been sent to Islamabad, and that he had cited reasons related to the post-election scenario.

A spokesman for the Pre­sident House in the federal capital said the resignation had not yet arrived there.

“Such a resignation should arrive at the President House from the PM’s office, and till now it has not arrived here,” spokesman Farooq Adil told Dawn.

Zubair was sworn in as the 32nd Governor of Sindh in February, 2017. He was sworn in after the shortest-serving Sindh governor retired justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui passed away in January last year.

Zubair, who was chairman of the Privatisation Commission before being appointed to the governor's post, is the brother of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and MNA-elect Asad Umar.

Prior to serving as chairman of the Privatisation Commission, Zubair was chairman of the Board of Investment from July to December 2013.

From 2012-13, he was a part of the PML-N's Economic, Tax Reforms and Media Committees.

Before working in government, Zubair was employed by IBM, where he held various positions for the duration of his 26-year career until 2007, according to information available on the Privatisation Commission website.


A whiff of hope

A whiff of hope

Despite the old script that has played out in front of us, political events do indicate some changes.


Updated 17 May, 2022

Buyer’s remorse

It is strange to hear senior PML-N leaders lamenting the subsidies, yet not even coming up with a subsidy rationalisation plan.
17 May, 2022

Sikh traders’ killing

THE brutal murder of two Sikh traders in the outskirts of Peshawar on Sunday illustrates the vulnerability of...
17 May, 2022

Cholera outbreak

REPORTS of rising cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea in several areas are raising the spectre of a public...
Updated 16 May, 2022

Electoral reforms

EARLY elections or not? That is the question. And it seems to be weighing heavy on the mind of everyone in the...
16 May, 2022

Iran deal revival

WHERE the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is concerned, a great deal of fluidity exists regarding its fate....
16 May, 2022

Deprived of funds

THIS May, Pakistan’s former Fata region will complete its fourth year of merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The...