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May 12, 2014

Imran demands new ECP, resignation of its members

May 12, 2014


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday demanded the resignation of all members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), formation of a new ECP and punishment for those who “stole the mandate of the masses.”
Imran ruled out the making of a new Pakistan by those who had made their way to the assemblies through rigging, who did not pay taxes but wanted others to do so and could not bring in foreign investment, as they had their businesses abroad.
Speaking to a rally, mostly consisting of charged youth, Imran said the existing ECP had lost the confidence of the nation and former Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim had resigned.
He pointed out that fearing his supporters, the government had halted power loadshedding for the time being. Clad in black clothes, the PTI chief criticised what he called the machinations used by the government to bar his party supporters from reaching the venue and said those nurtured in the nursery of a dictator could not stop them. Imran said he was sorry he was forced to appreciate ex-president Asif Zardari after seeing the tactics of the ruling party and asked the PML-N to shun hypocrisy and learn speaking the truth.
He castigated the rulers and said what was the use of paying Rs500 billion under the tag of circular debt, as the power tariff had been doubled and there was no let-up in power outages while circular debt had again gone up to debt had again gone up to Rs300 billion. He said the PPP government had doubled the electricity tariff in five years, while PML-N government had doubled it in just one year.
He asked the audience was there any decline in unemployment and himself replied that how could new jobs be created when there was no investment coming to Pakistan. He claimed Sharif brothers visited London to invest in Pakistan, and it was found out they both were the top investors in Britain and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had his business in

Imran reminded Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif about ‘zar baba and 40 thieves’ and asked him to tell the nation how much money kept abroad had been brought back in one year. He quoted Finance Minister Dar saying $200 billion was stashed in Swiss banks and said if it was brought back, Pakistanis would enjoy tax holidays for ten years.
“But if the rulers have their own assets abroad, how can they bring back money lying in Swiss banks. How patriotic these rulers are that they keep their money and assets abroad and do politics in Pakistan,” he quipped.
He claimed biggest ever loan was obtained in the last one year and said a leader had to lead by example. Addressing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said they wanted to play a match but with natural umpires unlike Nawaz, who had a bad habit of playing at Gymkhana Club with his own umpires. He added fair and transparent match was possible only with neutral umpires and recalled how he as national team skipper had introduced neutral umpires in world cricket.
He dispelled the impression created by the ruling parties that PTI had fixed the event on the nod from someone and questioned who had made IJI on whose signal and who was its captain?
Imran justified holding the rally and said they had exhausted all possible options and now were presenting their demands after getting no justice from any forum despite having provided evidence of rigging in a 2100-page white paper.
The PTI chief referred to a Sargodha constituency of Nawaz Sharif, from where at a polling station, total number of registered voters was 1500, whereas 8100 votes were polled. About his demands, Imran said they wanted an ECP that should be independent and returning officers should be under it, who had massively rigged the 2013 elections.
Imran demanded that thumb verification of four constituencies should be carried out immediately and reiterated his readiness for verification anywhere, from where his party had won. “If PML-N has genuinely won then why it is afraid of electoral investigations? I have not said anything strange and there is no threat to democracy from voters’ thumb verification,” he maintained.
On this occasion, he requested the Supreme Court to play its role in unmasking and punishing those involved in rigging and stealing people’s mandate. He proposed that probe into four constituencies was possible within five days.
He mentioned Hamid Zaman’s petition, who had fought in the elections from NA-118 by spending Rs5.7 million. He recalled out of 325 bags, 250 opened bags were found and it was revealed after eight months following the elections that of 1,70000 votes, 90,000 were empty chits.
“Who is responsible for this. RO you must be ashamed of your deeds and you are going to be a judge. Up to 60 bags found were not of the Election Commission,” he asserted.
The PTI chief said he would go to the last until he was provided justice with regards to rigging in elections. He said it should also be probed whether it was done by ROs or it was a team effort.
Imran said a joint line of action would be thrashed out with all those political parties that believed rigging was done the elections. He asked the youth to be ready for tsunami that would now turn to Faisalabad. On each Friday, protest will be held before the Election Commission against rigging.
He said tsunami would not stop now until justice was provided to him and true democracy was established through a transparent electoral process and those who stole the masses mandate were not punished.
The PTI chief asked the rulers to give justice to his party, as it was a better option for them. PTI leaders Javed Hashmi, Jehangir Tareen, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, AML President Sh Rashid Ahmad and Mian Muhammad Aslam of Jamaat-e-Islami also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, Imran left for the venue on a black luxury vehicle from his Bani Gala residence, accompanied by Sh Rashid Ahmad, Jahangir Tareen and Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Media reports kept pouring about the administration impeding arrivals of PTI leaders and workers from various districts. It was widely alleged that public transporters was denied plying buses and vans on roads. It was learnt hundreds of vehicles were impounded under one pretext or other.
Agencies add: He thanked Pakistan Muslim League (PML) President Senator Chaudhry Shujat Hussain for supporting the stance of his party. Red Zone of the federal capital was sealed off by containers as part of security arrangements owing to PTI protest rally at D-Chowk. According to reports, more than one hundred containers have been placed to block the roads leading towards Red Zone.
Organisers of the PTI rally said that the workers, including women, started gathering at the venue Saturday night.They said caravans came from Lahore, Multan, and Faisalabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Peshawar and other cities in vehicles, claiming that most of them had been stopped by the police.
Not more than 8,000 chairs were placed for the participants at the venue. For participants of the rally, separate parking areas were specified at Blue Area. PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in an interview his party had adopted legal procedures to get justice over rigging but they have not been given way by the government.




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