‘Punjab police trying to usurp role of ECP ‘

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Faisal Sheikh

ISLAMABAD: As the elections is fast approaching, an alarming upsurge has been witnessed in the detentions and abductions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) candidates’ seconders and proposers across the country, besides refusing to allow scrutiny of their nomination papers at the time when candidates of other political parties navigate the intricate web of scrutiny in a hassle-free manner. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan (EPC) completely failed in providing a conducive environment and level playing field for conducting free, fair and transparent general elections in the country slated to be held on February 8, 2024, which was evident from the ongoing spree of detentions, abductions and harassments of PTI candidates and their seconders and proposers.

The gravity of the situation could be judged from the fact that the women seconder and proposer for PTI district Attock President and candidate for PP-01 Hazro Attock Qazi Ahmad Akbar were kidnapped, besides the election staff continued to harass PTI candidates illegally during the process of scrutiny of their nomination papers.

Reacting to the unlawful act, Qazi Ahmed Akbar made it clear that he would echo the slogan of ‘Imran Khan Zindabad’ all the time as they could not be petrified as their conscience was satisfied.

PTI Attock President vowed that they would continue to the just fight with Imran Khan till making the dream of ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ a reality.

He went on to say that a number of FIRs including anti-corruption were filed against him, besides destroying his businesses and picking up people working with him me were picked up.

However, Qazi Ahmad Akbar categorically stated that all these brutal tactics did not work, because nothing could frustrate him; hence they resorted to pressurizing our women, the seconder and proposer, who were both women, were kidnapped.

He pointed out that the entire administration machinery was working and active for his political opponents at the constituency but he vowed that his struggle and fight against the unabated and continued cruelty and brutality would continue in all circumstances.

The lawyer for PTI candidates for constituency NA-55 Muhammad Basharat Raja and Muhammad Nasir Raja said that the process to unlawfully harass PTI candidates was continued, as the Rawalpindi Cantt RO refused to allow scrutiny of the nomination papers of PTI candidates for NA-55.

He said that the ROs were making illegal demands from PTI candidates, which was based on mala fide intention while candidates of their political parties were being provided special facilities.

The lawyer termed the RO’s demand illegal seeking Basharat Raja Basharat appearance in his personal capacity for scrutiny, because as per law, the candidate presence was not mandatory during scrutiny process.

He said that the son of IPP leader Aamir Kayani got his father’s nomination papers approved from the same constituency a few moments ago, which clearly reflected that the electoral watchdog miserably failed in creating conducive environment for elections.

The lawyer vowed that they would challenge this unlawful act at all forums.

Senior jurist Abuzar Salman Niazi said: “Went to RO office on Thursday. Despite having court orders and fulfillment of codal formalities, the police didn’t allow scrutiny of nomination papers of Sheikh Imtiaz Ahmed.”

He said that Punjab police was trying to usurp role of ECP and verifying identity of Seconders and Proposers. “Hugely unfortunate, how ECP is failing and Police is interfering despite clear directions from Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he lamented.