ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of violating rules of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by visiting Ghotki amid electioneering in a National Assembly constituency (NA-205) there.
The prime minister on Wednesday visited the residence of former federal minister Sardar Ali Mohammad Khan Mahar, who died recently, and offered condolences to his family. It was Mr Mahar’s death which had necessitated the by-election for the NA-205 seat.
Accompanied by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, federal ministers Dr Fehmida Mirza and Muhammadmian Soomro, and MNA Ghous Bakhsh Mahar, Mr Khan met the late politician’s close relatives Sardar Ali Gohar Khan Mahar, Sardar Ali Nawaz Khan Mahar and Ahmed Ali Khan Mahar.
“The visit of the prime minister to National Assembly’s constituency 205 is rigging,” Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, PPP chairman’s spokesman, said in a statement.
He urged the ECP to take notice of what he called “interference” of the prime minister and federal ministers in election affairs. “If the Election Commission wants to protect its image from further deterioration, it should take action over the violation,” he added.
Senator Khokhar pointed out that the ECP had not taken any political party or stakeholder into confidence on the issue of delay in elections in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
“The Election Commission is an independent institution and should take its own decisions instead of following the government’s dictation,” he added.
In a statement, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the nation had paid a heavy price for the Supreme Court’s “controversial decision” of June 19, 2012 under which Yousuf Raza Gilani had to leave the post of prime minister.
The PPP chairman said: “Yousuf Raza Gilani was punished for not deviating from the Constitution. Unfortunately, not a single prime minister of the country has completed constitutional term.”
The people’s representatives should only be removed by the people with the power of their vote.
In a separate statement, Nayyar Bukhari said the PPP would celebrate the 66th birthday of former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto on June 21.
He said public meetings and seminars would be held in different cities to mark the occasion.
Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2019