Independent Election Commission: must for democracy says Imran Khan
Yasir Ilyas & Sohail Rasheed
ISLAMABAD, July 8, 2010: Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaaf (PTI) demanded of free and independent election commission, terming it as a basic pillar for sustainable democracy in any state here in a press conference on Thursday.
Talking to media at the central secretariat of PTI, Imran Khan along with other leadership of PTI including Malik Zaheer Khokhar, runner up of PP160 by-elections presented documentary evidences of alleged rigging and use of state machinery by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and its provincial government.
Imran Khan said that after experiencing severe rigging in NA123 and PP160 by-polls; we put forward these four demands. First: criminal investigation of fraudulent election commission which is involved in rigging on the will of provincial government. Second: independent election commission like the one working in India. Third: voter lists based on the database of NADRA and Fourth: PTI will move Supreme Court (SC) if its demands are not fulfilled.
Imran Khan further said that nation has achieved two steps of democracy: One is independent media and second is independent judiciary. Now, the corrupt politicians and bureaucracy is afraid of both. He said that nation should now struggle for a free and independent election commission.
According to Mr. Khan, there are still 15 million bogus votes registered in voter lists all over the country which these corrupt politicians use according to their desire. Talking about the particular constituency, he said,” there were 23000 bogus votes registered in PP160, 1500 votes were listed in three different lists and 80 votes were registered for a single house.
He said PML-N fully used the state machinery for its candidate. After the announcement of election schedule, provincial government approved developments projects of worth Rs.45 million in the constituency which is an open violation of election rules. Several postings and transfers were done to facilitate the pro-government candidate. He said that he also wrote letters to ECP and the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik about the wrong deeds of provincial government but no one took notice.
He said, “Lahore Development Authority (LDA) bulldozed the election office of PTI. The candidate of PML-N along with his activists attacked a van of PTI used in election campaign and similar tactics were used to harass the candidate and voters of PTI.
During question answers session, Imran Khan said that the election of PP160 was a revolution where youth came out of homes to vote for his party. He said despite all the rigging, he will contest by-election on other vacant seats to get used to electoral process. He said that unlike other all politicians, he doesn’t have any assets outside the country.