April 13, 2024

High bureaucrat in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi resigns after admitting accountability for manipulating ballot outcomes

ISLAMABAD: A prime bureaucrat in Pakistan’s garrison metropolis of Rawalpindi on Saturday resigned from his submit after admitting accountability for the manipulation of Feb. 8 election outcomes, amid protests by political events over alleged rigging of polls.

Liaquat Ali Chattha, the Rawalpindi Division commissioner, made stunning revelations at a press convention, at which he admitted his involvement in manipulation of leads to 5 districts of the division.

These 5 districts included Attock, Rawalpindi, Murree, Jhelum and Chakwal, which had 13 nationwide and 26 provincial meeting seats up for grabs within the Feb. 8 election.

“The wrongful act I’ve dedicated on this election [is that] we’ve made folks, who had misplaced [the election], win 13 MNA (member of the Nationwide Meeting) seats from Rawalpindi. We have now turned as much as 70,000[-vote] lead of people into their defeat,” Chattha stated.

“Even at this time, our individuals are placing faux stamps [on ballot papers]. I apologize to all my returning officers who have been working underneath my supervision, who have been crying once I was asking them to commit this wrongful act, they usually weren’t keen to do it.”

The event got here amid nationwide protests by former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and different political events over alleged rigging of final week’s polls.

Whereas the vote did not current a transparent winner, unbiased candidates, most loyal to Khan, secured the best 101 parliamentary seats, in response to official outcomes. They have been adopted by three-time former PM Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) get together that bagged 75 seats and former overseas minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari-led Pakistan Peoples Social gathering (PPP) which received 54 seats.

Nevertheless, Khan’s get together, which was severely hamstrung forward of the polls, with rallies banned, its get together image taken away, and dozens of its candidates rejected from eligibility to face, insists that its victory was became defeat in practically two dozen constituencies.

On the presser, Chattha stated he was underneath immense stress from “abroad Pakistanis” and “social media” that he even contemplated suicide. He referred to as for stern punishment for himself together with different senior state functionaries, together with the chief election commissioner.

The Election Fee of Pakistan (ECP) strongly denied Chattha’s allegations in opposition to itself and its prime official.

“No official of the Election Fee ever issued directions to the Rawalpindi commissioner for a change of election outcomes,” the ECP stated in a press release.

“The commissioner of any division is neither a DRO (district returning officer), RO (returning officer) or presiding officer, nor they’ve a direct function within the conduct of election.”

Nevertheless, the ECP stated it will quickly maintain an inquiry into the matter.

Mohsin Naqvi, the caretaker chief minister of the Punjab province which Rawalpindi division is part of, has ordered an unbiased inquiry into Chattha’s allegations.

“An unbiased inquiry into the allegations will probably be carried out,” Naqvi stated in a press release. “Actual information with regard to the Rawalpindi commissioner’s allegations will probably be introduced forth.”