LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) central Punjab secretary general Hammad Azhar and party leader Moonis Elahi have advised the civil servants to stay loyal to the Constitution and people of Pakistan by not becoming part of the post-poll rigging, warning them that the “delinquents” would be prosecuted against.

Hammad demanded that the Punjab police inspector general should resign immediately, alleging that under the IGP’s supervision, thousands of homes were ransacked, people killed in police custody, hundreds tortured and thousands of innocent people were jailed.

In a video message, Hammad, who is facing cases and is in hiding fearing arrest, said the people of Pakistan expect that the civil servants and police officers would neither involve themselves in rigging elections, nor facilitate it, as these were heinous crimes. “Don’t commit these heinous crimes,” he warned.

The PTI leader lauded the returning officers and district police heads “who took a stand and refused to become part of rigging”. He said such ROs and DPOs were ensuring that mandate of people of Pakistan was upheld.

He said the PTI would ensure that those not remaining loyal to the law and the Constitution were brought to the book.

PTI leader Moonis Elahi also wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the Punjab IGP should not only resign, but he should also be charged “along with his cronies for everything they did”.

Mr Elahi warned that the PTI founder Imran Khan would not spare the civil servants becoming part of the “massive rigging” going on.

“There is a grave environment of rigging in Pakistan and particularly in Punjab, which demands that the civil servants should speak against this cheating,” he said.

Hammad also wrote on X that only two days ago, Pakistanis showed they disliked the Sharifs as their party (PML-N) “only won 15 seats” out of 271.

“But the shamelessness of this family, after the polls, was exposed through their pathetic attempts to sabotage the public will. They have made people hate them intensely now,” he added.

He also stated that the international community stayed silent during the “worst fascism unleashed on the people of Pakistan”. “But it’s heartening to see them speaking up now after the populace has given a clear verdict. The assault on democracy is still underway. They need to stand firmly with the people of Pakistan and use their voices categorically to support human rights and the rule of law in Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, PTI-backed candidate from NA-75 (Narowal) Dr Tahir Ali Javed told Dawn that his election results had completely been reversed. “I was at the Returning Officer’s office all night. At 3am, the RO showed the computer screen to me and said that he was leading [against] the PML-N by 20,302 votes.”

Next morning, he said, when they tried to make changes in data, he disallowed them. “I also demanded the RO to present the 75 “missing” presiding officers, who disappeared in thin air,” he said.

“When the RO felt that he could not do anything wrong in my presence, he contacted police and the DPO himself arrived and his Elite force used brute force, baton-charged and shoved and punched PTI workers and kicked all of them out of the RO’s office at 10am on Feb 9,” Dr Javed alleged.

He said the results were announced in his absence at 5pm on Feb 9, 24 hours after polling closed.

“I will approach the Lahore High Court and get relief for my constituents,” he added.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2024

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