PTI moving court against returning officers


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar announced on Tuesday to move courts against the returning officers who, he said, had changed the results in favour of PML-N during the second phase of local government elections in Punjab.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, he said the only aim of PML-N was to find innovative ways of rigging elections. “It is the 21st century. Please stop rigging elections,” Sarwar said to the rulers. “The returning officers in Gujranwala, Sheikhupura and Hafizabad changed the results on the whims of PML-N,” he alleged.

He criticised the registration of cases against PTI workers under the charges of terrorism.

“It looks like charges of terrorism have become a tool for government to use against its political opponents,” he said.

He was that the time and energies the government was spending on rigging elections might have been invested in solving the problems of the country. He said that it was beyond any doubt that 18,000 votes were transferred out of NA-122 and 22,000 were brought into the constituency before the by-polls. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had record of only 812 votes out of the total transferred votes; he said adding that the government had used this tactic time and again to win by-elections. He alleged that the ROs had been changing results in different districts of Punjab in union councils where PTI candidates were winning with a lead of 50 votes.

He expressed dissatisfaction over performance of ECP and said it would lose its credibility if it did not resolve the issues of transfer and shifting of voters in NA-122. He called the PTI candidates heroes as they had faced PML-N in local government elections.

Deputy Organizer Punjab Omar Sarfraz Cheema said the government was influencing ROs in Hafizabad to change results of the election in which Saira Afzal Tarar’s father lost to PTI’s candidate Mamoon Jafar Tarar. He condemned the actions of the government.