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Alleged rigging: PTI chairman warns courts of protests


ISLAMABAD: 

A day after contempt of court case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief was discharged, Imran Khan threatened to take it to the streets if the courts failed to take notice of the alleged rigging in the polling station of four constituencies.

“We want justice from the supreme judiciary. It should order recounting in four constituencies over thumb verification. If proved, the accused should be punished. On the contrary if our claims are proved wrong we are ready to tender an apology,” Imran Khan said while addressing his party workers in Lahore on Thursday.

Imran stated that he had requested the judges in the Supreme Court on Wednesday to take a suo motu notice of the alleged election rigging as it was tantamount to damaging democracy.

“We need to make the election process more transparent otherwise rigging would derail democracy in the country,” he said.  Referring to the white paper submitted by PTI to the SC, Imran said that rigging was done on such a scale that in a polling station where there were 1,500 voters registered 8,000 votes were cast. He requested the SC judges to constitute election tribunals.

In an apparent reference to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the PTI chief said, “Political mafia which stole the public mandate in an engineered manner is now deviating from their promises made during the elections, because they came into the government through rigging”.

He added that before the elections they had claimed they will bring the money laundered by President Asif Ali Zardari to Pakistan but soon after coming into power they were making secret deals with them.

Imran also criticized the Local Government Act passed by the Punjab government, saying that “it aims to make the general public slave and concentrate power and authority in the hands of the chief minister”.  He added that PTI was about to introduce a local government system in K-P which would bring down power to the grass root level.

The cricket icon also took the opportunity to apologise to the media over the scuffle between the party’s workers and media men which had left a cameraman injured on Tuesday. He described the episode as an ‘unfortunate one’.

Earlier party’s Punjab chapter president Ejaz Chaudhary said the PTI would stage a protest on The Mall against price hike and load-shedding. He said the workers should not be deterred by fake criminal cases and should continue with their struggle to bring change in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2013.