Imran’s party calls for independent poll panel

Imran says former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry played role in election manipulation.

By Our Correspondent

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Published: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:44 PM

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will launch a countrywide movement on May 11 for an independent election commission and to ‘expose the massive rigging’ in the May 2013 general election, party chief Imran Khan announced here.

Imran, who was previously a supporter of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, alleged that the former chief justice had a key role in the election manipulation. “Iftikhar Chaudhry, you were also involved in this match fixing,” he said. “We had accepted the election for the continuation of democracy, but we have not accepted the rigging and will fight to expose it,’ he charged.

The former chief justice did not take up election rigging complaints, Imran Khan regretted while addressing a party convention. He said that he went to the apex court to seek the chief justice’s help in the verification of voters’ thumbprints at four National Assembly constituencies, but Iftikhar Chaudhry had excused saying that there were 20,000 pending cases in the apex court.

“I was shocked that the former chief justice had time to take suo motu notices against a woman on a single bottle of wine, but he did not have time to take up key election cases,” he said, adding that his party will also go to the new chief justice to take up these cases.

Imran termed malicious the ongoing media campaign against the country’s premier intelligence agency — the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) — by a television channel, saying that even an enemy state would not resort to such actions.

The PTI chief also invited other political forces, who believe that the May 11 elections were rigged, to join hands with him. “We stand for democracy. Those who are guilty of rigging the elections should be exposed and must be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution.”

He added, “We will fight for an independent election commission and an independent Supreme Court.”

Imran criticised the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in Punjab for ‘using official machinery’ to manipulate three by-elections in the province. “No such situation occurred during the by-polls in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa [where the PTI is in power,” he added. “The PTI is the party that accommodated the poor and we want the son of a poor man to become the prime minister of this country.”

On corruption, Imran said the country has weak accountability laws, as the two major political parties have a tacit understanding not to hold each other accountable. “These parties cannot enact effective accountability laws as long as their money is in foreign banks,” he said. “There should be a neutral accountability bureau to enforce the law irrespective of the class system.”

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