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ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan has demanded the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and said the CEC should be tried under Article 6 of Constitution (high treason) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should tender an apology to the nation for committing “treason” and patronising “unprecedented rigging” in the recent general elections.

“Bullet has hacked the ballot — those who rigged these elections are national culprits and traitors—we saw each and every type of foul play — unprecedented rigging — in the general elections,” he said in the upper house of the Parliament on Tuesday.

“Will a group of officers make decisions behind closed doors?” Khan said in his hard-hitting speech on the floor of the house, on an adjournment motion moved by senators from different political parties regarding the “situation arising out of the results of general elections 2024, which is a matter of national importance.”

Khan demanded that a judicial commission should be formed to probe foul play in the general elections. “This was a totally fake election — the Election Commission must apologise to the nation — chief election commissioner must resign — he should be proceeded against under Article 6 for unprecedented rigging,” he deplored.

“Serious concerns were raised from across the country that this general election was stolen even before it was held,” the lawmaker deplored.

The JI senator put his weight behind the recent disclosures of former commissioner Rawalpindi Division Liaqat Ali Chatha about poll rigging, saying, he spoke the truth.

“Our party chief in Karachi fortified his (Sindh Assembly) seat because PTI candidate was the real winner from that seat,” he said.

Referring to the blockade of X (formerly Twitter) services in Pakistan, the legislator deplored, “Twitter has been blocked for the last three days in Pakistan, something is really fishy.”

Barrister Ali Zafar from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) termed it a “tyranny on democracy” that public’s mandate was stolen. “Everybody knows how pre-poll rigging was done — when all those tactics failed than the voting results were changed to elevate those candidates as winners who lost to PTI candidates,” he deplored.

“Look at the history — whenever the mandate of the people was stolen, there was anarchy and chaos—if the stolen public mandate is not duly returned, then things would slip out of hands,” Zafar warned.

“Despite all this rigging, the people of Pakistan gave mandate to the PTI in the general elections. We extend our gratitude to the people,” he added.

Another PTI Senator Aon Abbas Buppi said he is a “living dead” since he was detained and “kept somewhere” in the aftermath of May 9 episode. He said his house was demolished, factory and other businesses were closed, and his mother suffered from paralysis when he was in detention.

“I remained into hiding for over four months, changed houses, my children were also displaced along with me, then finally I was arrested from Lahore—I was kept somewhere for two weeks. I released a 20-second video in which I condemned May 9 episode and announced to quit the presidency of PTI south Punjab chapter. Thereafter, I was set free. I am free but I am a living dead now,” he added.

Earlier, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, on behalf of caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, laid in the Senate the State Bank of Pakistan Governors Annual Report for the financial year 2022-23 on the achievement of the SBP’s objectives, conduct of monetary policy, state of Pakistan’s economy, and the financial system. Seven reports of the relevant Senate standing committees were presented in the house.

Later, Senate was adjourned till Friday after Saadia Abbasi from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) pointed out the quorum which was found to be lacking.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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