Saluting ECP, Maryam Nawaz exposes rigging in by-election with 'evidence'
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz on Saturday "exposed" election rigging in the NA-75 by-election with what she claimed "irrefutable evidence" while showering loads of praise on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for standing up to the irregularities, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing a news conference in Lahore, Maryam Nawaz also saluted her party leaders and workers who guarded their votes and caught the “thieves” red-handed. “Our Shers (lions – party workers) snatched back the votes from a “crocodile’s jaws”.
Maryam also extended condolences to the people who died a day earlier during violence amid the by-polls. “I don’t know which party they were belonged to but their death is regrettable,” she added.
The PML-N leader said that a "plan" was made in Wazirabad and Daska because it was "clear that PML-N was in the lead" there. She said in Nowshera, the government did not see the PML-N's victory coming, because it had not won there before.
Maryam claimed the government's own camps were "empty" and there was a lot of visible support for the PML-N. "So they resorted to firing in broad daylight. There is a video in which you can see the PTI candidate and his relatives firing," she alleged, adding that it led to the tragic deaths of "two children".
A video was then played showing the said candidate with a red circle marked around him for identification. "A video never lies," Maryam said, adding "When there is evidence, it is shown. Allegations are not levelled just like that."
She expressed surprise that the authorities were pointing fingers at Rana Sanaullah for inciting people to violence at the time of polling while the PTI candidate and his relatives were to blame for that.
She said voting was slowed down in Wazirabad and Daska on government orders as a first attempt to steal mandate from us.
She alleged that PTI workers and leaders went into the polling stations and locked the doors from inside so that those waiting outside who, as per her claim, wanted to vote for the PML-N could not cast their votes.
She said a presiding officer in Wazirabad fled with bags of votes.
And at last, around 20 to 22 presiding officers were whisked away.
She said nobody knew where these 20 officers had been kept for 14 hours.
“Even the ECP was not aware where the presiding officers had gone as was evident by its press release,” she regretted.
She was of the view that ECP’s press release was a charge-sheet against the government.
Maryam said at last, the presiding officers returned at 6 AM at dawn.
She praised the courage of party candidate in NA-75 Daska for standing up to the authorities.
PML-N vice president said she was not aware who took these presiding officers away. “Casting ratio at these 20 polling stations went up to 80 per cent which at other polling stations it was around 30 per cent,” she wondered.
Maryam said the government had been exposed. “Just like we were robbed of our mandate in 2018, similarly mandate was stolen from us in these by-elections,” she alleged.
She, in a satirical tone, congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on what she said PTI’s ‘historic defeat’ in by-elections in four provinces.
She said the entire nation was looking towards the ECP, which had to take those rigging the by-elections to the task.
She demanded registration of FIRs against PM Imran and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.
PML-N vice president prophesied crushing defeat for the PTI in the next general elections.
She resolved whether ECP took action or not, she will not spare those responsible for ‘rigging’.
Replying to a question, Maryam said for the establishment, she had only one message, and that was they should learn the lesson from the blunder they committed by ‘selecting’ Imran Khan as the country’s prime minister.
Maryam claimed only one narrative had become popular, and that was ‘give respect to vote.’