Only 40pc votes verified in NA-122 polls: NadraPakistan
LAHORE: Only 73,478 votes polled in Lahore's NA-122 in the May 2013 general elections could be "authenticated", a National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) report said on Saturday.
The detailed report on alleged rigging and malpractice in the NA-122 polls submitted to the election tribunal says that the finger prints on the counter-foils of only 40 per cent of the total polled votes correctly matched with fingerprint data of the registered voters held with Nadra.
A total of 93,582 votes polled did not have verified thumb impressions on counterfoils.
Earlier in January, a report by a local commission had stated that NA-122's winning candidate Ayaz Sadiq had obtained 92,393 votes and Imran Khan had managed to secure 83,542. According to that report, the remaining 4,180 votes were polled in favour of other candidates.
Of the total 180,115 polled votes, today's report by Nadra suggests that only 40 per cent of the votes have been verified by Nadra's Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
The Nadra report further said that 6,123 votes were cast using invalid Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) whereas 370 votes did not have CNICs mentioned.
The report also says that 570 people who voted in NA-122 were not registered there. Furthermore, 1715 votes did not have finger prints on counter-foils.
The report also says that in the constituency, 73,478 votes are verified.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Advocate Anees Hashmi, however, today quoted the report as saying 136,000 votes were unverified.
After the report was submitted, the election tribunal adjourned the hearing and Judge Qazim Ali Malik has summoned Nadra's DG Syed Muzaffar Ali on May 16 to record his statements before the tribunal in court in order to confirm the report.
NA-122 was among the four controversial constituencies — the other three being NA-110 (Sialkot), NA-125 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran) — where PTI had demanded for voters’ thumbprint-verification in the hope of finding a solution that might be acceptable to all concerned.
Earlier this week, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan presented a pre-scan report that he said was issued by Nadra, saying that it contained concrete evidence to suggest mass-scale irregularities in the NA-122 elections.
Imran Khan was defeated by PML-N's Ayaz Sadiq in the said constituency, who is currently the National Assembly's speaker.
Know more: NADRA pre-scan report on NA-122 shows glaring irregularities: Imran Khan
Talking to media personnel after meeting Nadra’s chief to “inquire about forensic reports the authority had to submit to an election tribunal investigating alleged rigging in NA-122,” Imran had said the Nadra chief had assured him that the report will be submitted to the election tribunal this week.
Waving the pre-scan report in front of cameras, Imran had said it suggested that ballot books were inscribed with duplicate serial numbers in 50 polling stations. “Polling stations used books with serial numbers that were not meant for them,” claimed the PTI chief.
Imran had said his party will pursue criminal cases against the returning officers responsible for these irregularities. “It is obvious this was planned; how could the officers not see what was going on?” said Imran.
Also read: PTI's struggle bearing fruit, says Imran Khan
Imran Khan said he would present all these facts before the judicial commission probing the 2013 general election and expressed satisfaction with the commission’s scrutiny.
The PTI chief went on to say that the NA-122 tribunal decision will be no different than the NA-125 result, where a re-election has been ordered after serious irregularities in the election process were proven.
Previously, An election tribunal ordered re-election in Lahore's NA-125 and PP-155 constituencies after irregularities on the seats were proven during the 2013 general elections.
The one-page statement released by tribunal said that the ballot bags had been opened with a sharp object and the records had been tampered with.
Take a look at: Election tribunal orders re-election in NA-125, PP-155
It added that in the reports submitted by the tribunal’s appointed local commission and Nadra after inspecting the record of the constituency, it was found that on an average each person had cast six votes each.
PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique held a press conference soon after the election tribunal ordered re-election in the NA-125 constituency. He had said that the decision to order re-election was against the presiding and residing officers of the constituency and that runner-up candidate Hamid Khan had failed to prove rigging.
He had further claimed that only seven polling stations in the said constituency had irregularities.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that the Nadra in its report has mentioned that no rigging was committed in NA-122 in general election 2013.
PTI leaders have developed a habit of telling lies and misleading the people, he said in a statement. Rashid said the PTI leaders should better read Nadra's report carefully as it clearly mentioned that no rigging was done in NA-122.
Out of 18,000, only 500 votes, including duplicates, were found invalid while counter-foil issues were procedural irregularities, he added. Rashid said thumb impressions of 73,478 voters with good quality ink, were visible and verified with valid computerised National Identity Cards.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted the Nadra report as stating there were 136,000 unverified votes. This figure was a statement made by the PTI lawyer. The error is regretted.