Islamabad: PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took the government to task over the by-election Daska inquiry report, and read out some of its findings about attempted rigging in the by-poll at a press conference.
Addressing apresser along with the party spokeperson Maryam Aurangziab, he alleged that multiple government tiers from the local administration to the provincial and federal government were involved in the attempted rigging.
“This issue goes to the top [and] Punjab Chief Minister [Usman] Buzdar and Prime Minister Imran Khan will have to give answers,” he said.
The former prime minister expressed the hope that the ECP would make the report public so the people could see for themselves “what happens in our election and who steals it and how”.
“We hope the ECP will give exemplary punishments to these people. We hope the judiciary will not close its eyes on this violation of the Constitution and will take the kind of action that no one ever thinks about stealing the election.”
Terming the issue a “test” for the higher judiciary, Abbasi said if it could disqualify a prime minister for not taking a salary — referring to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif — then it could take action on a constitutional violation as well.
“If our judiciary wants to do anything for the country then today is the test for it,” he remarked.
The controversial by-election in February this year was marred by violence, rigging and the disappearance of more than 20 presiding officers (POs), and a fact-finding inquiry was launched to probe into the irregularities.
Subsequently, the ECP had withheld the results of the by-poll and ordered re-election in the entire constituency after suspicion that the results might have been falsified. The order was later upheld by the Supreme Court.