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SC to probe rigging allegations: Nawaz Sharif

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ISLAMABAD: in a televised address to the nation, the premier on Tuesday appealed the Supreme Court commission to investigate allegation irregularities in the 2013 general elections.

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“I request the Chief Justice of Pakistan [Justice Nasirul Mulk] to form a three-member commission that will investigate the rigging allegations and give a final decision,” he said.

The premier’s statement comes just two days before the scheduled ‘Long march’ led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahir ul Qadri against the government which they alleged to have been formed by rigging.

PM’s request is made under Imran’s demand that said that he would accept any verdict taken by the Supreme Court if it begins a probe into rigging allegations.

Nawaz raised questions regarding protests against the government, repeatedly blaming anonymous people for the political crisis.

“Can the people of this country – which is plagued with issues – ask what the basis of this protest is? Why are these people pushing Pakistan into terrorism, violence? What are their goals? Why these long marches? Please ask them. Why these hindrances?” he asked.

“In 2002, the PML-N contested elections while we were in exile. But we fulfilled our democratic role. In 2008, both Shahbaz and myself were declared ineligible (to contest polls). But we fulfilled our role. I was not given a place in the assembly but I did not cry about rigging,” he said.

He said that although he does respect the right of the people to protest but it is not appropriate that issues purely concerned with parliament are presented on roads.

“I am ready for any dialogue and negotiation. With an open heart I expressed the will to talk about the ongoing crisis,” he said. “For the well-being of Pakistan, I will not let ego come in the way.”

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Referring the PAT Chief Tahir ul Qadri, Nawaz said: “This country, which is already fighting terrorism, will not allow a third party to incite violence.”

He said that the general elections 2013 were largely considered free, fair and transparent.

“No international or local body said that these elections were rigged or that the losers were the real winners,” he argued.

The premier pledged that the reformation would be made to ensure that the transparency in the next polls.

“For this reason, I asked the Speakers of Senate and the National Assembly to constitute an electoral reforms committee. I am happy that this committee has been formed with 33 members and is functional. I am hopeful that this committee will achieve its goal in good time and will be a milestone in our country’s history,” he said.

“We want to take all parties on boar. We want all stakeholders in the National Assembly on boar”.

He said that all state institutions in Pakistan are working together according to the Constitution.

“The judiciary is standing on the back of the Constitution and democracy. Last year, for the first time in Pakistan, a democratically elected government completed its tenure,” said Nawaz in a televised address to the nation.

“By the grace of god, the country is on the path of democracy, he said.

“I am not saying our government has performed a miracle but I can say that during 2014, Pakistan has progressed,” he said pointing towards infrastructure and economy, strengthening of rupee, increase in exports, and the rise of the stock exchange.

“We have to find the answer to the question: what weaknesses are keeping us from (reaching) our destination?” he said.

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