Ex-Rawalpindi commissioner retracts 'rigging' accusations against CEC, CJP

Ex-Rawalpindi commissioner retracts 'rigging' accusations against CEC, CJP


Liaquat Ali Chattha exposes PTI's alleged role in electoral rigging narrative

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Former Rawalpindi commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha has retracted his earlier statement made in a press conference last Saturday, wherein he accused the chief election commissioner and the chief justice of Pakistan of being complicit in electoral rigging.

According to details, the former Rawalpindi commissioner has retracted his allegations against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja and CJP Qazi Faez Isa in his written statement submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

In the statement, Chattha has confessed to having supported the narrative of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) about rigging in the general elections and maligning state institutions in exchange for a lucrative position in the future.

He says he had been made this offer by a Lahore-based PTI leader with whom he had developed a close friendship.

Chattha further alleges that “this entire planning had been formulated after consultation and approval of the senior leadership of PTI”. 

He states that this proposal was made by the said [PTI] individual in consideration of the fact that he was about to retire from service after having remained a part of the services for 32 years and enjoyed all the perks and privileges.

The former Rawalpindi commissioner, who was due to retire after reaching the age of superannuation on March 13, says that he had detailed discussion with the said PTI leader on the proposed presser who conveyed to him the general direction which was needed to be adopted by him.

Chattha alleges that the primary aim of his press conference was to drive sensations and drama augmenting the false narratives being built by the PTI.

He says he had been advised to offer sweeping and emotional statements by suggesting that all the seats [in Rawalpindi division] were being won by PTI-backed independent candidates, but he helped in manipulating the entire results against the PTI.

Chattha says that he took the name of CJP Qazi Faez Isa during his presser with the aim of creating mistrust against him among the general public. “The CJP did not have any role in the entire election process. However, I was specifically asked … to do so.”

He further states that “it was aimed through his press conference, the entire election process throughout the country was to be tainted”.

Chattha says that he named CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja with the aim of raising questions on the entire election process throughout Pakistan. He says he had not received any instructions from the CEC to either favour or back any of the election candidates.

He also reveals that it had been decided that his press conference would coincide with the countrywide protests being called by the PTI against alleged electoral rigging.

The ex-commissioner admits that he did not pass any instructions or orders to any of the returning officers (ROs) to either favour or support any contesting candidates or do any sort of manipulation or rigging.

Chattha regrets that he felt extremely ashamed and embarrassed for making false, concocted, anti-state, and malicious statements for which he apologises to the entire bureaucratic fraternity.

Read also: Rawalpindi commissioner admits elections were rigged, resigns