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Rawalpindi: Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatta on Saturday took the entire country by storm through startling revelations about poll rigging, confessing he had manipulated “elections results in Rawalpindi division” to help the losing candidates win the elections.

The commissioner announced resignation from his post, demanding to be “hanged for doing injustice” to the Rawalpindi Division.

Chattha, in a press conference at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, claimed that 13 candidates from Pindi division were forcefully declared winners, adding that “we gave the losing candidates leads of 50,000 votes”.

“I have done injustice to the Rawalpindi Division,” he said. “I tried to commit suicide today after Fajr prayer. But then I thought, why should I die a forbidden death? Why not put everything in front of the people?” he said.

“I accept the responsibility of election rigging in Rawalpindi Division and surrender myself to the police,” he said.

The commissioner said he undertook many development projects in the city but regretted tarnishing his legacy by “stabbing the country in the back”.

“This does not allow me to sleep at night. No, I want to die a peaceful death and I should be punished for what I did. The chief election commissioner and others should be punished along with me,” he said.

Chattha said “I apologise to the returning officer (RO) under me. When I asked him to commit the crime, he cried, and said he did not want to do it.”

“The chief election commissioner and chief justice are involved in poll fraud. We made the independent candidates lose by giving losing candidates a lead of 70,000 by putting fake stamps,” the commissioner claimed.

He said, “I accept all the responsibility. I should be hanged. I cannot participate in the crime that could destroy Pakistan.”

However, the commissioner clarified that the army conducted elections in the “right manner”.

He said that there was no need to conduct re-elections. “Only collect all Form 45 and you will the results clear,” Chattha added.

The commissioner concluded by speaking highly of his efforts made for the progress of Rawalpindi. “I worked 16 hours a day for Rawalpindi; built Ring Road, Dadhucha Dam, Holy Family Hospital and Rawalpindi Gymkhana.” He said could not stand by the “fraud” that he committed.

Later, the caretaker government issued a notification, announcing transfer of the commission and asked him to report to the Service and General Administration Department.

ECP refutes allegations, forms probing committee

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decided to form a high-level committee to probe the rigging allegations made by former Commissioner Rawalpindi Liaquat Ali Chatta

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja convened an emergency meeting of the ECP in the wake of the Rawalpindi Commissioner’s allegations.

In a press statement after the meeting, the ECP said that the allegations of former Commissioner Rawalpindi were discussed and it was decided to form a committee led by a senior member of the commission to probe the allegations. The Secretary, special secretary, and Additional Director General of the law department would also be part of the committee, the statement said.

“The committee would record statements of Rawalpindi’s District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs) and would submit a report to the commission within three days after being notified,” the statement read.

It added that in the light of the committee’s report, legal action and contempt of ECP proceedings might be initiated against former Commissioner Rawalpindi Liaquat Chatta.

Earlier in the day, the electoral watchdog commission denied the allegations made by Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatta, against the chief election commissioner and the ECP.

“No official from the ECP issued any instructions to the commissioner Rawalpindi to manipulate election results,” it said the statement issued soon after the commissioner’s press conference.

“It is important to note that the commissioner of any division is not the DRO, RO, or presiding officer and does not have a direct role in conducting the elections,” it stated.

Nonetheless, the electoral watchdog will promptly initiate an inquiry into the matter.

PTI demands inquiry into Commissioner’s ‘rigging revelations’

Following the Rawalpindi Commissioner’s revelations, PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan demanded immediate inquiry into the rigging allegations. He said the Commissioner when saying that the winning candidates were defeated, he must tell, which candidates were winning. “We were winning the election according to form 45 but later our candidates were defeated with form 47,” PTI leader said. Barrister Gohar said that the Commissioner’s statement is very serious. “We have to open the Pandora’s Box if we move towards a new election,” he added.

The PTI leader demanded that the “snatched mandate of his party should be returned so sustainability of democracy and stability of the country.”

It is to be mentioned here that Commissioner Rawalpindi Liaqat Ali Chatha has resigned from his post over accepting responsibility for the alleged rigging in elections 2024. Chattha admitted that the rigging took place in elections and candidates who were leading in their constituencies with over 70,000 votes were converted to losers with the help of fake seals under his watch.

Hamid Khan calls for judicial inquiry

PTI leader Hamid Khan demanded a judicial inquiry into the revelations made by Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha about the alleged rigging in general elections.

The senior jurist, in a statement on Saturday, said that it was ridiculous to say that the commissioner does not have a role in election process as the deputy commissioner was subordinate to the commissioner, so why does he not have a role.

He asserted that if the commissioner wants to impede, there are powers to stop the deputy commissioner.

He further stated that an important person in the government machinery was saying that the elections were rigged.

“It was a matter of satisfaction that the conscience on a key figure has awakened, I hope others will also follow the suit,” he stated, adding that not only one commissioner but the whole world was saying that historic fraud has taken place, a judicial inquiry should be conducted into these allegations.

Source: The News Twitter