Saad Rafique and PMLN — a ‘rigging master’ or not — SC to decide on Thursday

By Iram Salim

(Pak Destiny) The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday will give a verdict whether PMLN leader Khwaja Saad Rafique had won 2013 election on NA125 (NA-131) through rigging or not. If the verdict confirms rigging it will have a great impact on the outcome in the election of Saad’s constituency and also the PMLN rigging tactics.

Saad who is already struggling to prove his innocence in the Paragon hoising corruption cases in NAB will have to defend himself on rigging front as well which will not be that easy.
The SC a couple of years ago had suspended an election tribunal’s verdict pertaining to the re-elections in constituencies NA-125 and PP-155 after irregularities were found in the records of the May 2013 general elections.

The court also summoned all records of cases from the election tribunal and issued notices to all respondents including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) candidate Hamid Khan.  An election tribunal had passed orders for re-polling in NA- 125 due to ‘some irregularities’ which Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Khawaja Saad Rafique challenged in the SC and announced that he would participate in the re-polls and contest elections from the constituency once again.

During the hearing, Khawaja Haris, counsel for PML-N leader submitted that the tribunal verdict was not in accordance with the law. After hearing his preliminary arguments, the bench suspended the tribunal’s verdict and adjourned the hearing for four weeks. While suspending the tribunal’s verdict, the apex court also had reinstated Rafique to his post as the railway minister.

In his appeal before the SC, Rafique claimed the decision of the tribunal was based on “mere conjectures and surmises” instead of any material evidence.

He contended that his opponent, PTI’s Hamid Khan, failed to provide any evidence of the plaintiff’s collusion with the election staff and could not prove any illegalities during the two years of the tribunal’s proceedings.
It is however surprising that the verdict is coming in a case of 2013 National Assembly that no longer exists. Pak Destiny


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