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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday said the incumbent rulers expressed distrust in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) instead of accepting defeat in the Daska NA-75 by-election.

The erstwhile premier talked to media in the federal capital and alleged that the government kidnapped twenty presiding officers along with cast votes. He said the incumbent regime knows beforehand about the ECP’s decision concerning the foreign funding case and it cannot remain in power even for one day.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the Senate elections were the replay of general elections of 2018.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government was ready to go to any extent for the sake of power despite the fact that it had failed to deliver.
The senior PML-N leader said that although his party believed in giving resignations from assemblies en masse, still the ultimate decision was to be taken by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership.

Abbasi said everybody knew what role the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was playing in the country’s politics. He opined that seeking of cancellation of the bail of PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz by the NAB gave the impression that it was the Bureau that was calling the shots in the country.

“The Bureau’s contention before the Lahore High Court that Maryam is targeting the state institutions; therefore, her bail be cancelled is strange,” the former prime minister said and added, “Only yesterday (Monday) the PTI government has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office-bearers to resign. This is something unprecedented. Is not that an attack on institutions?” When the government became sure it had failed to win the Senate elections, it started asking ECP officials to relinquish their posts.

Referring to the by-election in NA-75, Daska, he said 20 presiding officers had gone missing there, and nobody knew who whisked them away. The PML-N leader said whenever PTI ministers and members of the assembly met with people of their constituencies, they were asked about the performance of their government.

He was of the view that the reason why the government was seeking resignations of ECP officials because it was fully aware that it was in the election commission’s knowledge what was the fate of PTI’s foreign funding case. He said it was unfortunate that the Senate elections were stolen from the opposition, but still none was being held accountable for that.

“The man, Sadiq Sanjrani, on whose order cameras were installed inside the polling booths for Senate elections has now again become chairman of the House,” he alleged. Abbasi said had there been moral values in the country, Sanjrani would have preferred to quit saying he no more enjoyed the confidence of senators. NNI