CHARSADDA: Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali on Friday accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the army and the caretaker government of rigging the polls as he announced a protest on July 30.
Speaking at a press conference after holding a meeting of the party’s think-tank at the Wali Bagh here, he alleged that the soldiers kept telling the voters to stamp the “bat” on the ballot paper. ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Secretary Information Zahid Khan, Afrasiab Khattak, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Syed Aqil Shah, Bushra Gohar, Sitara Ayaz, Aimal Wali Khan and others were present on the occasion. Asfandyar Wali said that polling agents were thrown out of the polling stations and were not given the form-45.
He feared the country would head towards political instability as a result of the rigged polls. Demanding re-election, the ANP head called for declaring the July 25 general elections null and void.
He said his party knew about the pre-polling rigging, but it didn’t want to leave the field open. He said they were not expecting that rigging would be committed on such a large scale on the polling day.
The ANP leader alleged that his daughter was threatened with dire consequences when she demanded the provision of the form-45. He claimed the election result was changed between 6:00pm and 7:00pm.
Asfandyar Wali alleged that the polling staff expelled the polling agents from the polling stations on the pretext of taking rest so that they could tamper and change the results. He rejected the statement of the Chief Election Commissioner that the polls were held in a transparent manner. He said the election was heavily rigged.
The ANP leader said that on one hand the Pakhtun leaders were being targeted in acts of subversion and on the other hand they were kept out of the political arena to pave way for the Punjabi leadership.
He said that the terrorists had inflicted huge losses on the ANP. “Why was Haroon Bilour martyred? He could have been defeated like us. There was no need to martyr him,” he remarked. He announced that the ANP would stage peaceful demonstrations in the divisional headquarters throughout the province on July 30 to record protest against rigging. Asfandyar Wali said that a joint line of action would be adopted at the all parties’ conference convened by the opposition parties.