Zardari’s accusation against Imran Khan on Afghan citizens proved false

PoliticsZardari’s accusation against Imran Khan on Afghan citizens proved false

Even Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) doesn’t stand with the assertion made by its Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari that Afghan nationals have been unlawfully registered as voters in Pakistan in the run up to the 2024 parliamentary elections, according to Geo Fact Check.

In an interview to Aaj Television December 11, Asif Ali Zardari alleged that the former Prime Minister Imran Khan has had undocumented Afghan refugees added to the electoral rolls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wherein his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ruled for nearly a decade.

   

“You know why he [ Imran Khan] speaks in support of Afghan [refugees]? Because he [Imran Khan] has had the Afghanis vote registered,” Zardari alleged as quoted by Geo.

“He [Imran Khan] got their National Identity Cards made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and had them [Afghan citizens] added as voters,” Zardari further alleged.

The PPP leader further went on say that Imran Khan had created “fake lists” of voters to gain an advantage in the general elections.

“In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he [Imran Khan] has declared Afghan citizens as Pakistani citizens,” Zardari claimed, adding that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) may already be investigating the matter.

The next day, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Aaj Television also talked of the same accusation made by the PPP leader.

“Zardari is telling us that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wrong votes have been included in the [electoral rolls] specially that of Afghan citizens,” Fazlur Rehman said.

Fazlur Rehman also called on the ECP to immediately probe the alleged wrongdoing.

However, according to Geo Fact Check, even Zardari’s own PPP was not able to establish his claim.

The Secretary General of the PPP Parliamentarians Nayyer Hussain Bokhari alleged that Asif Ali Zardari made the statement based on information provided to him by the party’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wing.

But the PPP’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wing also failed to provide any documentation, information or proof to back Zardari’s accusation.

The PPP Deputy Information Secretary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Gohar Ali Inqilabi admitted that there was “no specific data” collected by his party to show that Afghan citizens have been illegally registered to vote in Pakistan’s 2024 election.

Geo Fact Check also mentioned that to determine the authenticity of the Zardari’s claim, they reached out to Rida Qazi, the Public Information Officer at the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the government-run body that maintains and issues identification documents in Pakistan.

Rida Qazi directed Geo Fact Check to contact the Ministry of Interior, adding that the ministry deals with matters of citizenship.

Geo Fact Check then wrote to the Federal Secretary at the Ministry of Interior Aftab Akbar Durrani on December 20, requesting him to share information about illegal and undocumented Afghan refugees who have been registered as voters, using purportedly “fake” identity cards.

Without commenting on the claim, Durrani again directed Geo Fact Check back to NADRA.

Pakistan has not had a Federal Interior Minister after the caretaker minister for interior resigned on December 15.

Separately, Geo Fact Check reached out to the Spokesperson of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Syed Nadeem Haider on January 7 to inquire if the electoral body was probing claims of Afghan citizens being added to the list of voters, ahead of the national polls.

“No [such] inquiry has been initiated by us [ECP] so far,” Haider told Geo Fact Check over the phone, “Neither have we got any such request [from anyone]. The electoral rolls have been frozen already for the next polls.”

Mati
Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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