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Pakistan

Web Desk
February 23, 2021

Wazirabad presiding officer's statement opens Pandora's box

Pakistan

Web Desk
Tue, Feb 23, 2021
Presiding officer Liaquat Ali Bhutta as he appeared during a video after he was caught allegedly fleeing with a bag of votes last week in Wazirabad by-polls (C) and in a video statement he shared on social media (L & R). Screengrabs via The News

  • Presiding officer caught allegedly fleeing with a bag of votes last week in Wazirabad by-polls identifies himself as Liaquat Ali Bhutta
  • Bhutta denies allegations of voting fraud, claims his life is "still in danger"
  • In the video, a  voice can be heard dictating Liaquat Ali Bhutta what to say in his statement
  • The voice, which The News was unable to independently verify, has made the matter all the more suspicious


LAHORE: A video of the Wazirabad presiding officer , who was caught allegedly fleeing with a bag of votes last week, reportedly has someone behind the camera dictating the man what to say in his latest statement — a development that comes days after the by-polls controversy but has only complicated the matter further.

Identifying himself as Liaquat Ali Bhutta, the controversial presiding officer's comments have opened a new Pandora's box.

In the video, a voice can be heard dictating Bhutta as to what to say in his statement, guiding him with words and phrases. The voice, which The News was unable to independently verify, has made the matter all the more suspicious.

In his video statement, Bhutta described himself as the presiding officer of a polling station in Wazirabad and said some people had "kept pressurising him for help throughout the day".

The presiding officer denied allegations of voting fraud, claiming that armed men abducted him, snatched the bag of votes from him, issued death threats, and paraded him around on the streets.

He said his life is "still in danger", and appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Prime Minister Imran Khan for help.

On February 19, a video had gone viral during the by-elections wherein some people caught the presiding officer fleeing with a bag of votes. Despite being asked multiple times where he was going with the bag full of votes, he had remained silent.