Govt to announce commission for poll rigging probe on Tuesday


–Info Minister Fawad Chaudhry assures PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif of commission’s formation, asks him ‘not to worry’

–Diplomatic source says govt officials did not demand extradition of Sharif family members during meetings with visiting British home secretary


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Monday informed Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif that the government would form a commission to probe allegations of rigging and mismanagement in the recent elections on Tuesday.

The assurance was given by the minister at a reception hosted by British High Commissioner Thomas Drew at his residence in honour of visiting British Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

The announcement comes as almost all the opposition parties lodged a protest against alleged rigging in July 25 polls.

Besides Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, PM’s Adviser Abdur Razak Dawood, Senator Azam Swati, PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Sartaj Aziz and Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, former ambassadors Aizaz Chaudhry and Riaz Khokhar, Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami and a select group of journalists also attended the reception.

On the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif complained to Fawad Chaudhry against the government’s failure of meeting opposition’s demand of election probe.

“When I was raising the issue at the floor of National Assembly, you had promised me that there was no need to discuss the matter and it should rather be considered as done. Now the government should walk the talk,” Shehbaz told Fawad.


Earlier on Monday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned that his party will hold protests against the PTI government if it fails to form a commission to investigate the rigging allegations regarding the July 25 general elections.

Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, Bilawal said, “If the government failed to form a probe commission by September 18, PPP would prepare a strategy for the protest.”

“We will wait until tomorrow,” he asserted.

He also hinted at consulting the PML-N and other opposition parties in case an investigation commission is not formed by the ruling PTI.

The information minister responded that there was no need to worry as the commission would be announced by Tuesday.

Although British Home Secretary Sajid Javid did not comment on the nature of his discussions with the media, diplomatic sources informed Pakistan Today that contrary to media hype, neither Prime Minister Imran Khan nor any of his cabinet ministers raised the issue of extradition of sons of Mian Nawaz Sharif or Ishaq Dar to Pakistan.

“No one demanded extradition of Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz or Ishaq Dar,” the sources said, adding that there was no agreement on the extradition treaty between the two countries.

Sources said that United Kingdom had very strict laws on money laundering and the matter of alleged money laundering by the Sharif family, if raised by the Pakistani government, would be dealt by the United Kingdom according to its laws.



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