MQM challenges Nadra report on NA256 poll irregularities

KARACHI: A petition challenging National Database and Registration Authority’s report regarding irregularities in the polls for National Assembly Constituency NA256 was filed in Sindh High Court on Thursday by Muttahida Qaumi Movement MQM.

MQM’s candidate, Iqbal Muhammad, filed the petition in SHC, who impleaded Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Election Commission of Pakistan, Election Tribunal Karachi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf candidate on NA256, Muhammad Zubair Khan and others as respondents.

MQM’s winning candidate on NA256, Iqbal Muhammad, submitted in the petition that his rival candidate Muhammad Zubair, challenged result of election for NA256 constituency in Election Tribunal and filed an application seeking verification of thumb impressions on ballot papers.

He said that election tribunal Karachi later allowed PTI candidate’s plea and ordered NADRA for verification of thumb impressions on votes cast at polling stations of NA256 constituency on August 08 illegally.

The petitioner submitted that following the tribunal’s order, NADRA submitted a report, which disclosed that of the total 84, 748 ballots sent to Nadra for verification of certain polling stations only 6815 votes verified, and thumb impressions on 57642 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system because the fingerprints were of very poor quality.

There were 11,343 ballot papers with invalid National Identity Card numbers, 791 votes were found not registered in the constituency, 5839 duplicate votes which were cast by as many as 2812, and 314 ballot papers were found without having fingerprints on them.

He said that Nadra report failed to determine judiciously about the alleged malpractice in election and such report cannot be relied upon by the tribunal without support of cogent evidence. He submitted that it will be unconstitutional and illegal to rely upon such report.

He prayed to the court to set aside the verdict of tribunal regarding verification of thumb impressions on counterfoils and declare report of Nadra illegal, false and unconstitutional.

Another, petition was filed by MQM candidate Waqar Hussain who was declared winning candidate on provincial assembly seat PS128 against the verdict of election tribunal verdict regarding verification of thumb impressions on votes cast at polling stations of PS128 constituency.

The petitioner submitted that election tribunal on September 17, allowed the application of rival candidate of PMLN Sultan Khan Johari and ordered the Nadra for verification of thumb impressions on counterfoils.

He said that election tribunal has passed the verdict illegally and unlawfully and requested the court to set aside the verdict of tribunal. Both petitions are expected to be taken up for hearing tomorrow.