Opposition criticises removal of NADRA Chief

The opposition parties severely criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for removing Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Tariq Malik and termed it illegal and unconstitutional act. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and other opposition parties criticized the PML-N government for removing Nadra Chairman.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah expressed concern over the removal of NADRA chairman and said that it was an attempt to conceal election rigging. He urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take action against the government’s decision. Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Senator Farhatullah Babar said the PML-N government violated law when it sacked NADRA Chairman. “The PML-N government sacked the NADRA chairman at a time when NADRA began thumb verification of a constituency of Lahore on the order of the Election Tribunal. If thumb verification is conducted there then there may be a question mark on the credibility of elections 2013,” he said.

He said the government must explain its reasons for sacking Nadra Chairman and give a policy statement in that regard. PPP Senator Saeed Ghani said that the sacking of Nadra chairman was a violation of Nadra Ordinance 2000. He said that the tenure of Nadra chairman was valid till August 2015. He claimed that the Chairman received telephonic threats when the verification of thumb expression of the constituency of Lahore began.

Central Information Secretary of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf(PTI), Dr Shireen Mazari also condemned the removal of NADRA chief Tariq Malik by the PML-N government. She said Malik was being penalised for exposing electoral fraud through Nadra data, especially thumb print verification. This action was yet another proof that there had been planned mass rigging in the 2013 General Election and post-election.

She said that PTI had been facing deliberate delays and hurdles in its petitions for thumb print verification by NADRA in the Punjab especially after rigging was exposed in Sindh. Now the removal of the Nadra chief was a further proof of the PML-N’s efforts to conceal large-scale “electoral fraud” engineered to bring it to power. “The very manner of the sacking, in the dark of night, has made it evident that there was mala fide intent of covering up rigging,” Mazari said.

“The sacking of Malik has sent a clear warning to all honest public servants that either they fall in line with corrupt practices or be ready for the consequences”, Mazari said. Central Information Secretary Zahid Khan said massive rigging was conducted in general elections 2013. He said that after sacking Malik, the government appointed Brigadier Zahid (Retd) as acting Nadra Chairman while ignoring senior most officer in the department. Mushahid Hussain Syed of PML-Q also criticized the PML-N government and said that it should rescind its decision.

Author: Naveed Butt

Source: Business Recorder Report