PTI claims the Form-45 for polling station 19 in NA-128 (Lahore) seems to have been tampered with, as the tally for Awn Saqlain has been written over, to change ‘173’ to ‘973’.—Source: ecp.gov.pk
PTI claims the Form-45 for polling station 19 in NA-128 (Lahore) seems to have been tampered with, as the tally for Awn Saqlain has been written over, to change ‘173’ to ‘973’.—Source: ecp.gov.pk

• Party shares ‘proof’ of tampering, claims rivals’ votes unfairly increased
• Alleges turnout crossed 100pc at several polling stations
• PTI Sindh leader sarcastically advises CEC to use ‘ink remover’ rather than ‘correction fluid’

ISLAMABAD: The PTI leadership alleged on Wednesday that the Form-45s published by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on its website were heavily tampered, with the results being changed in favour of PTI’s rivals and voter turnout crossing 100 per cent at several polling stations.

Addressing a press conference, PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan said that after the elections, one tried to forget the past and move forward, but if the elections were rigged on such a large scale, it became next to impossible to move forward.

Flanked by PTI senior leaders Taimur Khan Jhagra and Salman Akram Raja, Mr Gohar said the party would show vote rigging evidence of the constituencies, where PTI-backed candidates were defeated with overnight changes in the results, by comparing Form-45 of the ECP with the original one available with all candidates.

He said the poll fraud evidence had become clearer after the commission published Form-45s on its website.

The PTI chairman reiterated that his party was triumphant on 180 National Assembly seats in the general elections under “original” Forms-45. “Our mandate was stolen through results tampering, which is unprecedented in the political history of the country,” he insisted.

He said the scale of election “fraud” could be judged from the fact that while voter turnout across the country stood at 40 per cent, it had crossed 100pc in some places.

Mr Gohar emphasised that his party workers and supporters would petition election tribunals against ECP’s decisions and stage protest demonstrations until they get back the “stolen public mandate”.

Proof of ‘rigging’

Speaking on the occasion, PTI leader Taimur Khan Jhagra said that Form-45s published by the ECP on its website were massively tampered with.

He said the PTI had obtained 90pc of Form-45s on the polling day and they differed from the ones uploaded by the ECP.

Referring to results of a polling station in the National Assembly constituency NA-130 — Dr Yasmin Rashid vs Nawaz Sharif — Mr Jhagra claimed that Mr Sharif’s 378 votes were unfairly increased to 1,378 by adding the digit 1 in front of the ‘378’ in a Form-45 uploaded by the ECP.

Mr Jhagra said that in NA-71 — Rehana Dar vs Khawaja Asif — the PML-N candidate’s votes in a polling station were increased from 209 to 809, while the total number of votes remained 627.

In NA-64 — Qaisera Elahi vs Chaudhary Salik Hussain — Ms Elahi’s 507 votes were allegedly reduced to 007 as per a Form-45.

Mr Jhagra said that in his own constituency, PK-79, his 213 votes were allegedly changed to 93 in a Form-45, while the rival candidate Jalal Khan’s votes were increased from 02 to 122 in the ECP’s Form-45.

He revealed that in NA-238 — Haleem Adil Sheikh vs Sadiq Iftikhar (MQM) — Mr Sheikh’s 450 votes were made 050 and his opponent’s 09 votes were made 409 in an ECP-uploaded Form-45.

In NA-151 — Mehar Bano Qureshi vs Syed Ali Musa Gillani (PPPP) — Ms Qureshi’s actual 497 votes were allegedly changed to 197 in the ECP’s Form-45 while the rejected votes went up by the exact same number, from 27 to 327.

In NA-232 — Adeel Ahmad vs Asia Ishaq Siddiqui (MQM) — voter turnout in one polling station was showed 100pc, with all the 3,070 votes cast in favour of MQM’s candidate Asia Siddiqui in ECP’s Form-45, which didn’t have a single signature of any polling agent, Mr Jhagra said.

Moreover, in NA-263 — Salar Khan Kakar vs Haji Jamal Shah Kakar — PML-N’s candidate Jamal Shah Kakar received 537 votes in a polling station where the total number of votes cast was 465.

Mr Jhagra alleged all these results clearly showed how PTI’s candidates were defeated through fraud and results manipulation.

Other examples

Several other examples of apparent discrepancies in the ECP-uploaded Form-45s were shared by PTI supporters on social media.

For instance, at Polling Station 19 of NA-128 — Salman Akram Raja vs Aun Chaudhry (IPP) — 173 votes of Mr Chaudhry were made 973 by apparently tampering with the digit 1 as 9. The total number of votes cast in this constituency also seemed to have been tampered with and over-written.

In Polling Station 7 of the same constituency, there were concerns around the credibility of the votes cast for Mr Chaudhry. Social media was abuzz with allegations that 93 votes were originally cast in his favour, but the ECP’s Form-45 showed that he received 493 votes.

A closer inspection of the ECP form appears to show that the total number of votes was 570. However, this has been crossed out, and the final tally is shown as 970.

In Polling Station 8 of NA-238, the PTI claimed on social media that its candidate, Haleem Adil Sheikh, received 506 votes, whilst Sadiq Iftikhar of MQM-P received 20. However, in the ECP’s Form-45, Mr Sheikh’s votes were changed to 206 and Mr Iftikhar’s to 320. The use of whitener on this form was evident.

The ECP later removed NA-238’s data from the list of Forms-45 published on its website and it was not available until at least Wednesday midnight.

Speaking alongside Mr Gohar and Mr Jhagra, Salman Akram Raja stressed that election results had never been tampered with on such a large scale before.

“In my constituency’s polling station number 5, the turnout was 38pc and I got 357 and opponent got 123 votes. However, in the Form-45 uploaded on ECP’s website, my votes remained the same but my opponent’s vote have been increased to 723 and turnout has been increased from 38pc to 86pc,” he said. “The other polling stations in same building have around 40pc turnout.”

He added, “I suggest people download the Forms-45 and check how the ECP has done rigging.”

Mr Raja demanded that the number of election tribunals should be increased to swiftly decide the vote rigging cases.

PTI leader sends ink remover to CEC

In a sarcastic attempt to ‘tease’ the ECP over the allegedly tampered-with Form-45s, Haleem Adil Sheikh on Wednesday sent a set of ink removers to the chief election commissioner, asking him to use them “instead of using the correction fluid, which can be seen on the recently released Form-45s, exposing the official body’s tampering with the official document”.

In a video statement, Mr Sheikh, the PTI Sindh chapter president, said it was a matter of embarrassment for the ECP chief, who “played a role in making the democratic process controversial”.

JI demands judicial probe

Meanwhile, Ja­­ma­at-i-Islami emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has demanded a judicial probe into the release and then the withdrawal of “fake” Form-45s from the ECP’s website.

Speaking to the media sat at Idara Noor-i-Haq, Karachi, Mr Rehman insisted that the ECP removed Forms-45 after realising that it had exposed itself.

A look at the ECP’s website at around 11:50pm on Wednes­day showed that Form-45s for some National Assembly constituencies were not available.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2024

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