PTI Chairman Imran Khan, during his premiership, conveyed messages to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for holding a secret meeting, The News reported citing a source close to the latter.
However, according to the source, Sikandar Sultan Raja told the messengers that he could not do that.
They said the CEC “had conveyed back to the-then prime minister Imran Khan that being the CEC, his office was open for all politicians and every political party.” But, he couldn’t meet anyone, including the prime minister, secretly.
“The source said that the incumbent CEC is not the person who would succumb to the pressures of any political party or would get defensive over the lies and fake news being spread against him.”
The source told The News that CEC Raja never met the incumbent Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz or PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz in his life.
Former premier and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has repeatedly accused the CEC of holding secret meetings with Hamza Shehbaz and Maryam Nawaz in Lahore. The source categorically said that Sikandar Sultan had never met Hamza or Maryam in his entire life.
It is said that Sikandar Sultan does occasionally visit Lahore but for the reason that his family is settled there. “He goes to Lahore to spend time with his family,” the source said, lamenting that deliberately fake news is being spread against the CEC to make him controversial.
The source said the campaign against CEC Sikandar Sultan was unleashed after the commission reserved its judgment in the PTI’s foreign funding case. “Let me assure you that the commission would not succumb to such pressure tactics,” the source said, assuring that the Sikandar Sultan was determined to play his constitutional role of holding fair and free elections without any fear and favour.
Imran Khan has accused ECP of rigging the coming Punjab by-polls in the PML-N’s favour, to defeat the PTI. The source disclosed that although Imran Khan now accuses the CEC of secretly meeting with the PMLN leadership, during his premiership Imran Khan had been trying to meet Sikandar Sultan secretly. The source said that through different sources, the then prime minister was trying to pursue Sikandar Sultan to meet Imran Khan.
The source said that Sikandar Sultan has been meeting politicians from different political parties, including the PTI, but all these interactions were held in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Last Thursday, the ECP rejected Imran Khan’s allegation that the CEC was taking decisions against the party “alone.” It said the perception was “wrong and absurd.” The statement followed former PM Imran Khan’s scathing criticism of the CEC in a speech at the workers’ convention in Lahore.
“CEC Raja doesn’t have the right to serve the post. Therefore, he should resign. He alone makes the decisions, and all of his decisions are against the PTI,” Khan had said.
With input from The News