ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The judicial inquiry commission, which is probing alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections, has said the Election Commission of Pakistan will submit its written reply within two days.
The three-judge judicial commission, formed through a presidential ordinance after months-long protests against alleged electoral rigging by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is tasked to complete its investigation within 45 days.
In a press release Thursday detailing progress on the inquiry, the judicial commission said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Balochistan National Party (BNP), Pakistan Muslim Leage-Q, the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM) and the Peoples Muslim League-Pakistan (PMLP) have so far submitted their responses to three questions posed by the commission.
“MQM, PTI, BNP, PMLP, MDM and PML-Q have filed their replies to the questionnaire provided to all the parties on the last date. These would be considered at the appropriate state,” said the press release from the inquiry commission.
The parties were asked to respond in writing to why they thought the elections were rigged, to specify material evidence and witnesses, to ascertain if they believed the polls were “influenced pursuant to a systematic effort by design by any one” political party or individual, and who designed and implemented the plan to rig the elections.
The press release further said it was decided with consultation that political parties would be able to examine their witnesses on oath during the commission’s proceedings.
“In consultation with all the learned counsel representing the political parties, it was decided that the political parties may examine their own witness on oath to bring on record appropriate documents and may provide list of witnesses that they wish the commission to summon, along with brief statement of the purpose for which they are to be examined,” said the commission.
It also said the PTI would submit by May 2 its list of the witnesses who will be summoned on May 6. PTI will produce its own witnesses at 11.30 am on May 5, it added.
In the responses filed by political parties, the commission said the allegations have been leveled against the PPP by the Peoples Muslim League Pakistan (PMLP).
PPP counsels Aitzaz Ahsan and Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa have informed the commission that they would respond to the allegations within two days.
The PPP also says that it would not file any additional documents or furnish a list of witnesses but would rely upon documents produced by the PTI.
The commission said the PPP has also pressed for the reopening and scrutiny of ballot bags in a proportion of the total number of the constituencies.
“The learned counsel may provide a list of such constituencies so that notices be issued to the returned candidates,” said the press release.
The inquiry commission will hold its next session at 11.30 am on May 5.