The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has released to the public a report which states that PTI MNA Fakhar Zaman, tried to rig the by-elections in the constituency NA-45 (Kurram tribal district). This report alleges that the MNA from the ruling party attempted to use fake postal ballots, and mentions the involvement of two officials.
These actions constitute a violation Section 175(b) of the Elections Act 2017. The ECP has called for strict action against these individuals.
According to the report by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Joint Provincial Election Commissioner Haroon Khan Shinwari and Director (Elections) Khushal Zada, the PTI MNA is to be held primarily responsible for rigging in the by-election that took place this February. As for the two officials who allegedly abetted in this process, they are named to be the Central Kurram Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Muhammadi Khan and Special Branch operative Wasiullah.
The ECP first became aware of an attempt at rigging before the by-elections in NA-45 when it received some 600 applications for postal ballots from the police department. An inquiry by the ECP found that these were all bogus. Some of these bogus applicants for postal ballots included applicants who were dead, abroad or retired from service. Further investigation traced all these ballots to the DSP Central Kurram.
Moreover, the investigation also revealed that the PTI MNA had attempted to cover up the matter by producting a fake order declaring him ineligible from the Election Commission of Pakistan – so as to be able to claim that his opponents were spreading such fraudulent orders.