Prime Minister's Special Assistant Irfan Siddiqui has said former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has thrown a challenge to PTI leader Imran Khan to prove his allegations of election rigging in a court of law.

Speaking in Radio Pakistan's Current Affairs programme Nuqta-e-Nazar, he said Imran Khan has been repeatedly leveling allegations of rigging against former Chief Justice, Returning Officers and others. “There is a difference between irregularities and rigging as allegations of rigging means the mandate of the people has been stolen. Whenever there is rigging in elections the reaction comes within hours and not after one year as Imran is doing. PTI Chairman should first clarify what are his motives behind the long march. If intention of Imran Khan is to cause fall of the Government then there would be no end to it and anyone would stand up in future against any government on any pretext. This political extremism is detrimental for the country and democracy. Imran Khan is talking about change which should be for better, but he is pushing the country back towards 70s.”

Prominent journalist Qayyum Siddiqui said: “Notice of Ch. Iftikhar is a good opportunity for PTI leader to prove his allegations of rigging. Allegations against judiciary are shameful and Imran had to offer apology in the contempt of court case a few months back. Under National Judicial Policy, judicial officers cannot be deputed for administrative assignments but one time exemption was granted at the request of the then Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim and Imran Khan who wanted general elections under the auspices of the judiciary. The former Chief Justice had no role in the appointment of Returning Officers.”

Senior journalist Rauf Tahir said: “Leveling of allegations of rigging after one year is ridiculous. Against over one thousand seats contested in the general elections, PTI filed just 58 election petitions. Some of them were simple petitions filed without any substantial evidence of rigging. Out of 58 petitions of PTI, 37 have been disposed of by Election Tribunals. About delays, petitioners and their lawyers themselves have been seeking postponement of the cases time and again and did not present acceptable evidence.”

Senior journalist Zafar Malik said : “Imran Khan started to blame the general election results from the outset. He initially demanded the audit of four constituencies and then asked for audit of the whole election results. Now, he has directly blamed former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry and his son, Arsalan Iftikhar. Now Imran khan has got an opportunity to prove his allegations. He has used the word ‘Shameful’ for judiciary in the past. If Imran Khan could not justify or clarify his allegations, he could be declared ineligible.”

Senior analyst Akbar S. Babar said: “Imran khan was thinking of clean sweep in general elections, but the results were just against his thoughts”.

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