Official resigns admitting rampant election rigging in Pakistan


February 8 elections in Pakistan have been marred by allegations of rigging, with reports suggesting that the manipulation occurred in the afternoon. In a shocking turn of events, the landslide victory of Imran Khan’s party-affiliated candidates, was overturned in the dead of night, directly at the instructions of Pakistan Army as well as its fearful spy agency – Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). Following the resignation of top election official, Pakistan is now grappling with the revelation of the source of these persistent rumors, which have spread like wildfire.

It has been disclosed that high-ranking government officials, including the Divisional Administrator, were complicit in orchestrating the electoral fraud. The public reaction to these revelations has been one of outrage and disbelief, with many expressing their frustration at the apparent betrayal of trust. Additionally, independent candidates who were supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party were reportedly sabotaged in Rawalpindi, Punjab’s most influential province, in what has been described as a politically motivated power struggle. Rawalpindi Divisional Commissioner (DC) Liaquat Ali Chatta addressed the media during a press conference on Saturday to shed light on these concerning developments. This information has been reported by various reputable news outlets including Dawn, Sama TV, Pakistan Today, and Geo News.

Pakistan was already in turmoil due to allegations of election rigging, with PTI’s calls for canceling the elections spreading across the country. The situation escalated when DC Chatta added fuel to the fire with his sudden remarks, leading to widespread uproar. The entire nation is now gripped by tension and uncertainty.

Admitting to vote rigging, Liaquat Ali Chatta stated, “We manipulated the vote count, causing candidates who were poised to win by 70,000 votes to only receive 50,000 votes.” He also implicated the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Justice in the scheme. Following his admission, Dees resigned on Saturday but was later arrested a few hours afterward. His current whereabouts remain undisclosed. Naturally, the government has descended into chaos following DC’s revelation, particularly impacting the PMR-N and PPP alliance, which had recently formed the government. The future appears bleak, with the newly formed alliance facing challenges even before officially assuming power. What lies ahead remains uncertain – will there be change, or will the specter of martial law loom over Pakistan’s political landscape like an impending storm?

Pakistan held its national and provincial elections on February 8, yet the victorious parties have not yet formed the government. Allegations of massive rigging have been rampant, particularly from former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), due to the dubious nature of the election results. PTI has claimed that at least 85 constituencies were rigged in the National Assembly elections, with their central information secretary, Raof Hasan, asserting that the margin of victory was artificially inflated through vote counting irregularities in numerous instances. Amidst these allegations, Ali Chatta resigned from his position after admitting culpability.

Speaking at a press conference held at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Saturday, Chatta expressed remorse, stating, “I have committed injustices in the Rawalpindi Division. Initially, I contemplated suicide after Fajr prayer today. However, I reconsidered, realizing the gravity of such an act. Instead, I have chosen to disclose everything to the public.” Chatta further declared, “I accept responsibility for electoral fraud in the Rawalpindi division and willingly surrender myself to the authorities.”

Unable to find peace after his actions, Commissioner Liaquat expressed his desire for a peaceful death, acknowledging the gravity of his deeds. He stated, “I am plagued by guilt for what I have done. I seek punishment for my actions.”

Liaquat Ali Chatta assumed full responsibility for the wrongdoing, implicating not only himself but also the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Justice in the scandal. He insisted that they should face consequences alongside him. The manipulation was orchestrated to ensure the victory of certain candidates in the Rawalpindi division. Regretting his involvement, he revealed that electoral workers are still tampering with ballot papers by affixing fake stamps. Liaquat appealed to the bureaucracy to avoid repeating such mistakes for the sake of politicians. He apologized to the department’s returning officers, acknowledging the injustice inflicted upon the country. Ultimately, he solemnly declared, “I deserve to be punished with death.”

However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) refuted Chatta’s allegations. The ECP stated in a press release that no official from the commission had instructed him to manipulate the election results.

Nevertheless, the matter will be promptly investigated. Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi took decisive action on the issue, ordering the formation of a high-level committee to address the complaints. Naqvi also called for an impartial investigation into Chatta’s claims to uncover the truth. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faiz Isa demanded evidence to support Liaquat Ali Chatta’s accusations, asserting that they were baseless without proof. Caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir dismissed the allegations, describing them as an attempt to undermine the election’s credibility.

Amir Mir also labeled individuals who discuss suicide as psychopaths. He questioned Chatta’s timing, asking why he waited nine days after the election to come forward. Mir emphasized that the matter would be thoroughly investigated, including Chatta’s mental health and the circumstances of his appointment.

Senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Rana Sanaullah claimed that Liaquat Ali Chatta, a close friend of his, was undergoing treatment for mental health issues. Additionally, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman called for a thorough investigation into the serious allegations, noting that Chatta had failed to provide evidence to support his claims.

Reacting to Chatta’s confession, PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan stated that the Rawalpindi DC’s statement confirmed the theft of PTI’s mandate. He demanded that the Election Commission rectify its error and return the mandate to PTI, asserting that they had won approximately 160-170 seats. Khan expressed distrust in Naqvi’s investigation, citing his oversight of the events. Meanwhile, protests against election rigging are escalating in Pakistan, with PTI announcing protests in southern Punjab and various cities. The party declared its intention to stage demonstrations at Nagana Chowk, Multan Farid Gate, Bahawalpur-Traffic Chowk, and Dera Ghazi Khan. In response, Section 144 has been imposed in the capital Islamabad to prevent protests. Increased patrolling and heightened security measures have been implemented across the district, as reported by Pakistan Today.

Opposition stance of PTI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to occupy the opposition benches rather than forming a government. However, the party is disinclined towards forming alliances. PTI has articulated its readiness to undertake the role of opposition both in the federal and Punjab. During a press conference in Islamabad, PTI leader Barrister Saif, accompanied by Qaumi Watan Party leader, announced that the decision to assume the opposition role was made under the guidance of the party’s founding chairman, Imran Khan.