Ex-Rawalpindi Commissioner retracts rigging blames, apologizes to ECP

Ex-Rawalpindi Commissioner retracts rigging blames, apologizes to ECP

Ex-Rawalpindi Commissioner retracts rigging blames, apologizes to ECP

Ex-Rawalpindi Commissioner retracts rigging blames, apologizes to ECP

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ISLAMABAD: In an unexpected twist of events, Liaquat Chatha, the former Commissioner of Rawalpindi, retracted all allegations regarding election rigging in the 2024 general elections and issued an apology to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

During a recorded statement before the ECP’s investigative committee, Chatha disclosed that he was under immense pressure due to his impending retirement and consequently surrendered to authorities.

Chatha clarified that he did not issue directives to any Returning Officer (RO) nor did he interfere in any candidate’s support during the 2024 general election. He emphasized that he never instructed any Returning Officer to display bias or interfere in the electoral process.

“In light of my 32-year service record, with retirement scheduled for March 13, 2024, I harbored concerns regarding potential loss of benefits in the future. I deeply regret my previous statements and extend a sincere apology to the nation,” stated Chatha.

Additionally, the former commissioner revealed that during his tenure as Punjab’s secretary, he cultivated close ties with a political party official, foreseeing future advantages. “The party official went into hiding due to involvement in the May 9 incidents, and I maintained clandestine communication with him, providing covert assistance,” he stated.

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Chatha disclosed a covert meeting with a political party leader in Lahore on February 11, where he was tasked with formulating a plan to substantiate allegations of election rigging. However, apprehensive about the potential ineffectiveness of the accusations, he instead opted for an emotionally charged press conference.

According to Chatha, the political leader confirmed that the plan was endorsed by a specific party’s top leadership, and the press conference was strategically aligned with the party’s protest agenda. Chatha admitted that including the Chief Justice’s name was a deliberate tactic to incite public animosity.

He stressed that he never received instructions for rigging from anyone, including the ECP, and extended an apology to all government employees for his baseless rigging allegations.

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