Pakistan Poll Official Resigns, Accepts “Wrongdoing” In Elections

Liaquat Ali Chattha said “stabbing the country in its back does not let” him sleep. (File)


A senior Pakistani bureaucrat on Saturday alleged that the chief election commissioner and the chief justice were involved in poll rigging in the recent election as he resigned from his post, taking the “responsibility for all this wrongdoing”.

Former Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha’s remarks came amidst jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party began nationwide protests against alleged rigging and stealing of its mandate in the February 8 elections.

Speaking to reporters at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Liaquat Ali Chattha said the candidates who were “losing” the elections “were made to win”.

“I am taking the responsibility for all this wrongdoing and telling you that the chief election commissioner and the chief justice are also completely involved in this,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Liaquat Ali Chattha resigned from his office after “accepting responsibility” for manipulation of poll results, it said.

Liaquat Ali Chattha said “stabbing the country in its back does not let” him sleep.

“I should be punished for the injustice I have done and others who were involved in this injustice should also be punished,” he said.

The former bureaucrat said there was “pressure” on him to the extent that he contemplated suicide but then resolved to present matters before the public.

“It is my request to the entire bureaucracy to not do anything wrong for all these politicians,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has strongly rejected the allegations Chattha has made against the chief election commissioner.

In a press statement, it said, “The Election Commission of Pakistan strongly rejects the allegations levelled by the Commissioner Rawalpindi on the chief election commissioner or the election commission and no official of the election commission never issued any instructions regarding changing the election results to the Commissioner Rawalpindi.

“Neither is the commissioner of any division ever appointed as a DRO, RO or presiding officer, nor do they ever play a direct role in the conduct of elections.” However, it said that the matter would be investigated.

Earlier, Punjab caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir has also “rejected” the claims of manipulation of election results made by Liaquat Ali Chattha.

Speaking to Geo News, he said that Liaquat Ali Chattha had “not shown any proof” of the alleged tampering of poll results.

Noting that the commissioner was retiring on March 13, Mir said, “I imagine he’s trying to kick start his political career after he retires.” Besides Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and others have also complained of rigging during the elections.

Independent candidates – a majority backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party – won 93 of the 265 National Assembly seats that were contested in the February 8 election.

However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s two main rivals appear on course to form a coalition government after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) formed a post-poll alliance on Tuesday.

The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support them with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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