Pindi commissioner backtracks from rigging allegations

Says I came up with allegations after being promised a senior position after retirement by a senior PTI leader.

RAWALPINDI: Former commissioner of Rawalpindi Division Liaquat Ali Chatha who made allegations of wide-scale rigging in the Feb 8 elections today backtracked from his claims and said he had acted after being offered a lucrative post by a senior PTI government.

On Saturday, Chatha resigned and offered his surrender to the police saying he was involved in huge rigging and unable to even sleep over the injustice. Moments later, he was arrested and shifted to an unknown place.

He had said that under his supervision polling staff defeated candidates who were leading with over 70,000 votes. He said all the 13 candidates declared winners in the Rawalpindi Division had lost the elections with over 70,000 votes each but their results were manipulated and the winners were declared the losers.

After the election commission took notice and launched an inquiry, Chatha was asked to submit his reply. In his written reply, he took a complete U-turn and backtracked form his claims.

He said he was posted as secretary to the Punjab government when the PTI came into power in 2018 after which he became close friend with a senior PTI leader who absconded after the May 9, 2023 violence and was declared an absconder.

He said he was then in communication with the absconding PTI leader and also held secret meetings with another leader of the party in Lahore. On Feb 11, he said, he secretly met the PTI leader in Lahore who offered him a lucrative post in future in case the commissioner made such allegations to back the narrative of the PTI about rigging in the elections.

He said he was retiring on March 9, 2024, and was worried about life after government service in which he availed of all the perks and privileges.

He said he was to address a presser about arrangements for the PSL matches at the Rawalpindi cricket stadium but staged the drama of rigging in the elections and also accused the chief justice of Pakistan.

He also said that no department or authority had ordered him to change the election results and neither any returning officer was involved or pressure into rigging.

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