NA-122: Imran testifies before Lahore election tribunal, says evidence in ballot bags

inp 06-74Tribunal to give verdict on Monday

LAHORE, Dec 06 (INP): Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday recorded his evidence before an election tribunal in Lahore headed by Mr  Kazim Ali Malik pertaining to alleged rigging in the May 2013 elections.

Speaking to media representatives outside the tribunal, Imran Khan stated that evidence had been recorded in front of the judge, adding that he (Judge) will decide on Monday whether the ballot bags will be opened or not.

The evidence was submitted against National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq who had defeated Imran Khan in the NA-122 constituency during the election.

“We have provided all our evidence, and we have put our stance in front of them that all the evidence is in the bags. Once they are inspected, everyone will know what happened in the elections,” said the PTI chairman.

He said that if he was in Ayaz Sadiq’s position, he would not have waited and agreed to get the ballot bags recounted.

“I have won three seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; I wrote a letter to Speaker Ayaz Sadiq that if you want to open the ballot bags in the constituencies where I have one, you can.”

Imran alleged that they have been in search of justice for the last one and a half years. He said justice has been hidden behind the law.

An election tribunal had earlier directed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan to testify in support of his allegations of rigging in NA-122 by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Lawyers for Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said thre was not a single piece of evidence in the documents submitted by Imran Khan. They said instead of providing evidence, Imran Khan asked the tribunal to open the bags meaning that the PTI chief was asking the court to produce proof of rigging itself.

On the occasion large number of PTI and PML-N supporters also gathered but the police asked the leadership of the two parties to calm them down and not raise slogans.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supporters chanted anti-Imran slogans and momentarily blocked the route for Khan’s car. PTI supporters present at the site in return chanted anti-Nawaz slogans.

Earlier, six witnesses presented by the petitioner side, were cross-examined by Mr Sadiq’s counsel. The witnesses were polling agents of the PTI who, in their written statements, alleged that they were forcefully expelled from the polling booths by the presiding officers.

They alleged that the presiding officers spoiled the ballot-papers by stamping on tiger, election symbol of ruling PML-N. The witnesses said they protested the ‘unfairness’ but to no avail.

Mr Sadiq’s counsel Barrister Asjad Saeed pointed out that an FIR was already lodged against the ‘fake’ oath commissioner who attested the affidavits of Mr Khan’s witnesses. He said the affidavits should not be made part of the case record.

Advocate Anees Hashmi, the counsel for Imran Khan, said to check validity of an oath commissioner was not the job of applicants. He said the authorities concerned should take action against the ‘fake’ oath commissioners working in court premises.


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