Ex-Rawalpindi Commissioner apologises over election rigging allegations

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In a surprising turn of events, the Ex-Commissioner Rawalpindi, Liaquat Chatha, on Thursday withdrew all his allegations related to rigging in the general elections 2024 and apologized to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), ARY News reported.

In a recorded statement before the ECP’s investigative committee, Chatha revealed that he was under huge pressure due to retirement and surrendered before the authorities.

The former commissioner clarified that he did not direct any Returning Officer (RO) or interfere in anyone’s support during the general election of 2024.

The ex-commissioner clarified that he never instructed any Returning Officer to show favoritism or intervene in the election process.

READ: Rawalpindi commissioner resigns over alleged election rigging

“With a 32-year service record, I was scheduled to retire on March 13, 2024, and held concerns about potential loss of benefits in the future. I deeply regret my statement and offer a sincere apology to the nation,” Chatha stated.

The former commissioner revealed that during his role as Punjab’s secretary, he forged close ties with a political party official, aiming for future advantages.

“The party official went into hiding due to involvement in the May 9 incidents, I was in touch with him and also used to assist him secretly,” he said.

Liaquat Chatta disclosed a covert meeting with the leader of a political party in Lahore on February 11 and was tasked with devising a plan to confirm allegations of election rigging, however, concerned about the potential ineffectiveness of the accusations, he opted to conduct an emotionally charged press conference.

The former Rawalpindi commissioner revealed that, according to the political leader, the plan had the backing of a particular party’s top leadership. The press conference was strategically tied to a party’s protest plan.

Chatta admitted that adding the Chief Justice’s name was a deliberate move to fuel animosity among the people. He emphasized never receiving any instructions for rigging from anyone, including the ECP. He extended an apology to all government employees for his rigging allegations.

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