noworldsystem.com


Bhutto Had Proof ISI Was Planning to Rig Polls For Musharraf

Bhutto Had Proof ISI Was Planning to Rig Polls For Musharraf

Reuters
Janurary 1, 2008

Benazir Bhutto was poised to reveal proof that Pakistan’s election commission and shadowy spy agency were seeking to rig an upcoming general election the night she was assassinated, a top aide said on Tuesday.

Senator Latif Khosa, who authored a 160-page dossier with Bhutto documenting rigging tactics, said they ranged from intimidation to fake ballots, and were in some cases unwittingly funded by U.S. aid.

Bhutto had been due to give the report to two visiting U.S. lawmakers over dinner on December 27, the day she was killed in a suicide bombing.

“The state agencies are manipulating the whole process,” Khosa, a top Bhutto aide and head of her Pakistan People’s Party election monitoring unit, told Reuters.

“There is rigging by the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), the election commission and the previous government, which is still continuing to hold influence. They were on the rampage.”

President Pervez Musharraf’s spokesman Rashid Qureshi dismissed the claim as “ridiculous”.

“It makes one laugh,” he said. “The president has said a free, fair, transparent and peaceful election is essential, which forms part of his overall strategy for transforming Pakistan into a fully democratic (nation).”

“Benazir’s coming back to Pakistan was part of a national reconciliation ordinance,” he added. “Take it from me, it’s going to be perhaps the best election that Pakistan has ever had.”

Khosa said the report, entitled ‘Yet another stain on the face of democracy’, details how the spy agency was planning to issue 25,000 pre-stamped ballots for each of 108 candidates for national assembly seats in Punjab from the party that backs President Musharraf and formed his government.

INTIMIDATION

“They have used intimidatory tactics, they intimidated the returning officers into rejecting nomination papers … they prevented candidates from submitting their nomination papers,” Khosa said.

“This happened in Baluchistan and in the other central areas of Pakistan. It happened in Sindh.”

He said the ISI also had a “mega computer” which could hack into any computer and was connected to the Election Commission’s system.

Separately the commission had tried to manipulate the voting register by leaving millions of potential voters out, he added.

An initial draft list of voters published in June put the electorate at 52 million people, more than 20 million short, triggering a backlash from Musharraf’s political opponents.

The Supreme Court ordered the commission to revise the list, and in October it raised the total to 80 million.

“The Election Commission is completely subservient to the government,” Khosa said.

In the Election Commission’s case, U.S. financial aid had been used in rigging, he added, stressing however he did not believe it was diverted military aid.

“She was going to give the dossier to two U.S. lawmakers simply because they happened to be visiting. It was then going to be made public,” Khosa said.

“Benazir was supposed to hold a press conference. It was going to be distributed to everyone, but unfortunately that did not arise because she was assassinated.”

 

Bhutto report: Musharraf planned to fix elections

McClatchy Newspapers
December 31, 2007

NAUDERO, Pakistan — The day she was assassinated last Thursday, Benazir Bhutto had planned to reveal new evidence alleging the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in rigging the country’s upcoming elections, an aide said Monday.

Bhutto had been due to meet U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to hand over a report charging that the military Inter-Services Intelligence agency was planning to fix the polls in the favor of President Pervez Musharraf.

Safraz Khan Lashari, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party election monitoring unit, said the report was “very sensitive” and that the party wanted to initially share it with trusted American politicians rather than the Bush administration, which is seen here as strongly backing Musharraf.

“It was compiled from sources within the (intelligence) services who were working directly with Benazir Bhutto,” Lashari said, speaking Monday at Bhutto’s house in her ancestral village of Naudero, where her husband and children continued to mourn her death.

The ISI had no official comment. However, an agency official, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the subject, dismissed the allegations as “a lot of talk but not much substance.”

Musharraf has been highly critical of those who allege that his regime is involved in electoral manipulation. “Now when they lose, they’ll have a good rationale: that it is all rigged, it is all fraud,” he said in November. “In Pakistan, the loser always cries.”

According to Lashari, the document includes information on a “safe house” allegedly being run by the ISI in a central neighborhood of Islamabad, the alleged headquarters of the rigging operation.

It names as the head of the unit a brigadier general recently retired from the ISI, who was secretly assigned to run the rigging operation, Lashari said. It charges that he was working in tandem with the head of a civilian intelligence agency. Before her return to Pakistan, Bhutto, in a letter to Musharraf, had named the intelligence official as one of the men she accused of plotting to kill her.

Lashari said the report claimed that U.S. aid money was being used to fix the elections. Ballots stamped in favor of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, which supports Musharraf, were to be produced by the intelligence agencies in about 100 parliamentary constituencies.

“They diverted money from aid activities. We had evidence of where they were spending the money,” Lashari said.

Lashari, who formerly taught environmental economics at Britain’s Cranfield University, said the effort was directed at constituencies where the result was likely to be decided by a small margin, so it wouldn’t be obvious.

Bhutto was due to meet Specter and Kennedy after dinner last Thursday. She was shot as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi early that evening. Pakistan’s government claims instead that she was thrown against the lever of her car’s sunroof, fracturing her skull.

 


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: