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Friday May 24, 2024

Imran Khan tried to secretly meet CEC

CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja never met Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz or PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz in his life

By Ansar Abbasi
July 16, 2022
Ex-PM Imran Khan (left) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. File photo
Ex-PM Imran Khan (left) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja never met Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz or PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz in his life, a source close to the CEC told The News.

The source said that during his premiership, Imran Khan has been conveying messages to the CEC for holding a secret meeting with the latter but Sikandar Sultan told the messengers that he could not do that.

The source said that he had conveyed back to the-then prime minister Imran Khan that being the CEC, his office was open for all politicians and every political party but it was not possible for him to meet anyone, including the prime minister, secretly.

The source said that the incumbent CEC is not the person who would succumb to the pressures of any political party or would get defensive over the lies and fake news being spread against him.

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has repeatedly accused the CEC of holding secret meetings with Hamza Shehbaz and Maryam Nawaz in Lahore. The source categorically said that Sikandar Sultan had never met Hamza or Maryam in his entire life.

It is said that Sikandar Sultan does occasionally visit Lahore but for the reason that his family is settled there. “He goes to Lahore to spend time with his family,” the source said, lamenting that deliberately fake news are being spread against the CEC to make him controversial.

The source said that the campaign against the CEC Sikandar Sultan has been unleashed after the commission reserved its judgment in the PTI’s foreign funding case. “Let me assure you that the commission would not succumb to such pressure tactics,” the source said, assuring that the Sikandar Sultan was determined to play his constitutional role of holding fair and free elections without any fear and favour.

Imran Khan alleges the commission of rigging the upcoming by-elections in Punjab in favour of the PMLN and to defeat the PTI. The source disclosed that although Imran Khan now accuses the CEC of secretly meeting with the PMLN leadership, during his premiership Imran Khan had been trying to meet Sikandar Sultan secretly. The source said that not one but through different sources, the-then prime minister was trying to pursue Sikandar Sultan to meet Imran Khan.

The source said that Sikandar Sultan has been meeting politicians from different political parties, including the PTI, but all these interactions were held in the Election Commission of Pakistan. Even recently, the PTI deputy chairman met the CEC at the latter’s office and remained there for over an hour. Different ministers of Imran Khan cabinet have been meeting the CEC at his office and Shibli Faraz has been a frequent visitor.

However, the source insists that for the CEC, there is no question of meeting any politician or ruler secretly. Last Thursday, the Election Commission of Pakistan rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s allegation that CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja was taking decisions against the party “alone”, terming this perception “wrong and absurd.” The ECP’s statement came after former PM Imran Khan’s scathing criticism of the CEC in a speech at the workers’ convention in Lahore.

“CEC Raja doesn’t have the right to serve the post, therefore, he should resign. He alone makes the decisions and all of his decisions are against the PTI,” he had said.

“We demand that the foreign funding cases against all the major political parties should be heard together,” Khan said, adding that a conspiracy was hatched to forge evidence against the PTI in the foreign funding case.

Reacting to the PTI chairman’s “unfounded” accusations, the ECP said, “The Election Commission is a constitutional body in which all decisions are made in the light of the Constitution and law. Some people are deliberately giving the impression that decisions are being made individually in the ECP, which is wrong and contrary to facts.”

“This is completely wrong and absurd,” said the ECP, insisting that all the decisions taken from January 2020 to-date, whether the commission consisted of five members or three, were with consensus and there was not a single decision in which a dissenting note was given.

“The ECP would continue to take decisions in the best interest of the country, under the Constitution and the law and in accordance with the oath, without any pressure,” said the ECP.