Chattha apologises for rigging allegations


‘Political pressure’
Ex-Pindi commissioner says he held highly emotional and drama-filled press conference at behest of a political party
Former Rawalpindi commissioner, Liaquat Ali Chattha, who had resigned from his post last week while making serious allegations of election rigging, has issued a public apology and expressed regret for his statements.
Chattha, in a recorded statement before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) committee on Thursday, acknowledged that he made these allegations at the behest of a political party, without explicitly naming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Express News quoting ECP sources reported that Chattha appeared before the committee and recorded his statement in response to a notice sent by the investigation committee. The ECP has since completed its investigation into the allegations of rigging made by Chattha.
Sources revealed that all the District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs) of Rawalpindi Division have categorically rejected the accusations of rigging in the elections leveled by the former commissioner. The inquiry committee collected written statements from all six DROs of Rawalpindi Division.
During his fiery press conference last week, Chattha had raised serious concerns about election rigging. However, in his recent statement before the ECP committee, he attributed his actions to political pressure from the PTI leadership, without naming the party. Chattha admitted to orchestrating a press conference filled with drama and emotional rhetoric, including phrases related to suicide and hanging, under the guidance of the political party.
In his statement, Chattha expressed remorse, stating, “I am ashamed of the statement and apologise to the people.” He disclosed that, at the time of the press conference, he was retiring on March 9 and was concerned about his future and benefits. Chattha revealed that he had been in contact with a high-ranking figure in the political party and had covertly assisted them in exchange for the promise of a high position.
According to Chattha’s account to the ECP committee, the emotional and drama-filled press conference was planned following the orders of the political party leadership. Importantly, he clarified that no RO was involved in any rigging processes, refuting his earlier allegations.