Liaqat Ali Chatha, the ex-Rawalpindi commissioner, who made explosive allegations about the alleged manipulation of the February 8 polls in favour of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates but later withdrew them, has now claimed that PTI’s top leadership planned the entire rigging propaganda.

He said in his official statement on Thursday that “After the incident of May 9, 2023, as with other leadership of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI), the said prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) also absconded from courts, was declared as a Proclaim Offender (PO) and has been hiding. Throughout this time, I had direct contact with him, and I kept on discreetly helping him on various issues. Consequently, my relationship with the prominent Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) leader evolved into a very close friendship based on a high level of trust.”

Further adding that he also stated, “After the General Elections (“GEs”) of 2024, on 11February 2024 I secretly and discreetly travelled to Lahore and held a meeting with him. It was in this meeting, that he made an offer to me that if I played a role in supporting the Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf’s (PTI) ongoing narrative of rigging in general elections (“GEs”) and maligning state institutions, he would ensure a lucrative position for me in future. He informed me that this entire plan had been formulated after consultation and approval of the senior leadership of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI).”

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He goes on to elaborate that the two had a detailed discussion on the proposed press conference. “He conveyed to me the general direction which was needed to be adopted. Initially it was proposed by me that I would write the entire narrative and submit the same as part of my resignation. However, this proposal was dropped by the said prominent Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) leader as such written resignation would not create any sensations for their narrative building. After detailed discussions, it was agreed that a press conference would be conducted by me at a time and date to be conveyed after consultation and approval of the senior leadership of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI).

He further mentioned that “The primary aim of this proposed press conference was to create sensations and drama augmenting false narratives being built by the Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI).”

“The name of the Chief Justice of Pakistan was taken with the aim of creating mistrust in general public against him. The Chief Justice of Pakistan did not have any role in the entire election process. However, I was specifically asked by said prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) to name the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP). He told me that he had been specifically asked by his top leadership to do so. The aims behind naming the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) were manifold. I was told that it would help in creating the momentum of this entire narrative as Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) had already been sowing seeds of doubts and distrust in the public minds against the Chief Justice of Pakistan  (CJP),” the ex-Rawalpindi commissioner added.