Sattar, others appeal to CJP, COAS to take notice of rigging

Farooq Sattar, leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM, addresses a news conference in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. MQM supporters attacked three TV stations and clashed with police in Karachi after their self-exiled leader, Altaf Hussain, delivered a speech by phone from London against the Pakistani government on Monday night. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
  • Say ready to produce evidence, witnesses 

  • Allege disappearance of POs on election night

  • Claim that rigging was targetted to favour PTI

KARACHI: Leaders of Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Dr Farooq Sattar and Kunwer Naveed Jamil have appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamer Javed Bajwa to take notice of ‘post-poll rigging’ in NA-245 and NA-250 Karachi during July 25 general elections.

While addressing a press conference at MQM-P Bahadurabad Office here on Tuesday, both the leaders expressed full confidence to produce evidence and witnesses in case the CJP gives such an opportunity to them.

Both the leaders did not mention of those who according to them were involved in the rigging, but said, “Our results were changed from 9 pm to 5 am after closing cameras at polling stations and the presiding officers were expelled from the polling stations.”

Dr Sattar said, “We have been informed by a number of presiding officers (PO) who performed duties at the polling stations that new tactics have been used to change the votes.”

He said according to the documents, he was winning the election from Lines Area till 9 pm and had received above 300 votes, but the other day from same polling station he received only 5 votes. “It was shocking for me,” he expressed his disappointment.

He said that he has already filed a petition in Sindh High Court (SHC) challenging the results of NA-245 and NA-250. On both the seats, the MQM-P was winning, but the next morning results of both constituencies had been changed.

He said that the rigging was committed during the counting of the votes and the officers replaced the MQM-P victory with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in Karachi.

“Hundreds of presiding officers informed us about this tactics, but they are not coming forward because of the jobs. However, they will hopefully come forward if need be,” Dr Sattar claimed.

The ballot papers with the stamp on bat were imported from outside the polling stations and replaced with the kite, he alleged. He asked the presiding officers to give all records of the NA-245 and NA 250 polling stations.

Other than PTI, all major political parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MQM-P and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) have complained of rigging in the polls.

Although MQM-P failed to retain its powerful position in Karachi, it has announced its support for PTI in National Assembly while sitting on opposition benches in Sindh Assembly.