Liaquat Ali Chattha retracts ‘rigging’ accusations against CEC & CJP This entire planning had been formulated after consultation & approval of the senior leadership of PTI

Liaquat Ali Chattha retracts ‘rigging’ accusations against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja & CJP Qazi Faez Isa

Issues a public apology & expresses regret for his statements

Confesses to having supported narrative of PTI about rigging in general elections for a lucrative position in the future

Says this entire planning had been formulated after consultation & approval of the senior leadership of PTI

ISLAMABAD  (  Web News )

Former Rawalpindi commissioner, Liaquat Ali Chattha, who had resigned from his post last week while making serious allegations of election rigging, has issued a public apology and expressed regret for his statements. The former Rawalpindi commissioner retracted his allegations against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja and CJP Qazi Faez Isa in his written statement submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Chattha, in a recorded statement before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) committee on Thursday, acknowledged that he made these allegations at the behest of a political party, without explicitly naming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Liaquat Ali Chattha appeared before the committee and recorded his statement in response to a notice sent by the investigation committee. The ECP has since completed its investigation into the allegations of rigging made by Chattha.

All the District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs) of Rawalpindi Division have categorically rejected the accusations of rigging in the elections leveled by the former commissioner. The inquiry committee collected written statements from all six DROs of Rawalpindi Division.

During his fiery press conference last week, Chattha had raised serious concerns about election rigging. However, in his recent statement before the ECP committee, he attributed his actions to political pressure from the PTI leadership, without naming the party. Chattha admitted to orchestrating a press conference filled with drama and emotional rhetoric, including phrases related to suicide and hanging, under the guidance of the political party.

In his statement, Chattha expressed remorse, stating, “I am ashamed of the statement and apologise to the people.” He disclosed that, at the time of the press conference, he was retiring on March 9 and was concerned about his future and benefits.

According to Chattha’s account to the ECP committee, the emotional and drama-filled press conference was planned following the orders of the political party leadership. Importantly, he clarified that no RO was involved in any rigging processes, refuting his earlier allegations.

Chattha confessed to having supported the narrative of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) about rigging in the general elections and maligning state institutions in exchange for a lucrative position in the future. He says he had been made this offer by a Lahore-based PTI leader with whom he had developed a close friendship.

Chattha further alleges that “this entire planning had been formulated after consultation and approval of the senior leadership of PTI”.

He states that this proposal was made by the said [PTI] individual in consideration of the fact that he was about to retire from service after having remained a part of the services for 32 years and enjoyed all the perks and privileges.

The former Rawalpindi commissioner, who was due to retire after reaching the age of superannuation on March 13, says that he had detailed discussion with the said PTI leader on the proposed presser who conveyed to him the general direction which was needed to be adopted by him.

Chattha alleges that the primary aim of his press conference was to drive sensations and drama augmenting the false narratives being built by the PTI. He says he had been advised to offer sweeping and emotional statements by suggesting that all the seats [in Rawalpindi division] were being won by PTI-backed independent candidates, but he helped in manipulating the entire results against the PTI.

Chattha says that he took the name of CJP Qazi Faez Isa during his presser with the aim of creating mistrust against him among the general public. “The CJP did not have any role in the entire election process. However, I was specifically asked … to do so.” He further states that “it was aimed through his press conference, the entire election process throughout the country was to be tainted”.

Chattha says that he named CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja with the aim of raising questions on the entire election process throughout Pakistan. He says he had not received any instructions from the CEC to either favour or back any of the election candidates.

He also reveals that it had been decided that his press conference would coincide with the countrywide protests being called by the PTI against alleged electoral rigging.

Chattha regrets that he felt extremely ashamed and embarrassed for making false, concocted, anti-state, and malicious statements for which he apologises to the entire bureaucratic fraternity.