Election Commission inquiry found PTI MNA Fakhar Zaman involved in rigging

 ECP inquiry Committee found PTI MNA Fakhar Zaman from Kurram guilty of planned rigging through the postal ballots

The two member inquiry committee of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has found PTI MNA from NA-45 Kurram Fakhar Zaman involved in rigging of postal ballots. The report was compiled by an inquiry committee comprising Joint Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Election Commissioner Haroon Khan Shinwari and Director Elections Khushal Zada.

The inquiry report found that fake applications of deceased or retired police officials were submitted for postal ballots. The opponent candidates pointed out that fake postal ballots being used to change the results of the constituency. PTI candidate won the by polls with the close margin of 1250 votes. 

According to the findings of the report, PTI National Assembly member Fakhar Zaman Khan has been found primarily responsible for the rigging that took place in the last elections held in the constituency in collusion with DSP Central Kurram Mohammadi Khan and Special Branch official Wasiullah.

The report states that Zaman violated Article 175(b) of the Elections Act 2017, prepared fake postal ballot applications to influence election results along with DSP Central Kurram Muhammadi Khan and Special Branch official Wasiullah, who were also found responsible for the fraud.  

 “The application forms for issuance of postal ballot papers emanated from the office of DSP Central Kurram Muhammadi Khan and received to Returning Officer (RO) by post were found maneuvered by the then contesting candidate now the returned candidate Zaman in violation of Section 175(b) of the Elections Act 2017.”

The report also stated that DSP Muhammadi Khan made “an attempt to use his official position to influence the election results in favour of Zaman which violates Section 187 of the Act”.

A team led by the K-P joint election commissioner submitted the investigation report to the ECP which stated that the applications received for the postal ballots were fake and according to the police's own inquiry, almost all the signatures on the petitions were forged.

Many of these forged requests were found to be from deceased or retired police officers. The investigation report asserts that postal ballot applicants were not even on duty on the Election Day and recommended strict action against those responsible.

PTI MNA Fakhar Zaman denied the allegations of rigging and declare it a  conspiracy of the opposition. He said that opponents wanted to spoil the election by spreading fake orders.

It is worth mentioning here that PTI candidate Malik Fakhar Zaman won the bypolls with securing 16,911 votes. Muhammad Jamil Khan of the JUI-F, who bagged 15,761 votes, emerged as the runner-up.Independent candidate, Said Jamal, a cousin of the late Munir Orakzai, secured 15,559 votes.

 Both JUI-F candidate and independent candidate  had disputed the election results, accusing the ruling PTI of carrying out "massive rigging". 

JUI-F candidate Jamil Khan said that he has already given an application for a vote recount, adding that he will also challenge the results in court.

                                                                       Web Desk


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