Original Articles Video Clips

Rigging Pakistan Elections: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied – by Aamir Mughal

LUBP presents a collection of articles and video clips compiled by Aamir Mughal, one of LUBP’s most valued readers and researcher on the subject of election rigging in Pakistan.

Intense U.S. pressure has forced Musharraf to resign from the army to keep his presidency, and he is soon to lift martial law. Still at issue is how free the election will be and whether Bhutto will take office with a large governing majority. When Musharraf still resisted Washington’s demands last week that he end his state of emergency, I asked Bhutto how an election could be conducted under those conditions. Her message: “Elections under martial law cannot be free or fair.” It remains an open question whether an election could still be rigged by Musharraf without martial law. He has appointed local electoral officials who will take orders. Twenty million names have disappeared from the national voters list, whose preparation was financed with U.S. aid. When this was discovered, the government said that anybody on the old list would be permitted to vote. But the new list is flawed, with millions of names repeated to permit multiple votes by individuals. All this attempts at least to minimize Bhutto’s majority and force her into taking a coalition partner. Musharraf’s efforts to keep Bhutto out have been orchestrated for two years by retired brigadier Ijaz Shah, who left Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) to become the president’s chief of civilian intelligence. The ISI, a state within a state, is aligned against Bhutto and would be at the heart of any vote-rigging.

REFERENCE: Rigging Pakistan’s Election? By Robert D. Novak Monday, December 3, 2007

CNN: The Secret Bhutto File on Election Rigging in Pakistan:
CNN’s report on the secret Bhutto file that accusses the Pakistani government of consipiring to rig the upcoming elections before her death.

Malik Qayyum Admits Rigging

Transcript of the video above:

Leave Nawaz Sharif(PAUSE)….I think Nawaz Sharif will not take part in the election (PAUSE)…. If he does take part, he will be in trouble. If Benazir takes part she too will be in trouble(PAUSE)… They will massively rig to get their own people to win. If you can get a ticket from these guys, take it (PAUSE)…. If Nawaz Sharif does not return himself, then Nawaz Sharif has some advantage. If he comes himself, even if after the elections rather than before, …..yes….

REFERENCE: Audio – “Pakistan Goes to the Polls” Qayyum ‘was aware of rigging plan’: HRW releases tape

From The News:

ondon-based Brad Adams, director Asia region-HRW, was asked by The News to comment on Malik Qayyum’s view that the release of the audio just two days before the elections was a conspiracy. Brad replied that his organisation had got this audio recording some three days back and as being an international NGO, it had first confirmed the voice signatures of Malik Qayyum and then tried its best to contact him for his version. Brad, however, refused to mention or give any hint regarding the source from which it had taken the audio. Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director of HRW, when asked by The News that whether his NGO had got this recording from some of its staff here in Pakistan or from some intelligence agency, said that he could not speak about the source. To a question that Pakistani government sees the release of the recording as a conspiracy, he said: “Its silly to talk like that, the government should feel sorry what it has planned for elections.” Malik Qayyum told The News that HRW did not take his version and that it did not know about the identification of the person to which he was talking, which automatically raised questions about the authenticity of the recording.

Comment by Masood Sharif Khan Khattak from his website:

A general election was held in Pakistan on 18 February 2008, after being postponed from 8 January 2008. The original date was intended to elect members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, the lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora (the nation’s parliament). This DAWN News TV Investigation Report was aired just before that election and features people who have affected past elections and Pakistan’s democratic process in many ways including General Ali Kuli Khan Khattak, General Hamid Gul, Maj (Retd) Masood Sharif Khan Khattak, General Roedad Khan, Air Marshall Asghar Khan, Brig Imtiaz Ahmed, Maj Aamir and more. One of the main topics is Midnight Jackals, an operation conducted by the Intelligence Bureau to thwart an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of Benazir Bhutto. Other topics include the rigging of elections, involvement of the Pakistan Army in democracy and elections, intelligence agencies involvement in elections and democracy and more

Here is the Dawn News Investigative report referred to by Masood Sharif Khan Khattak:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Additional research links:

About the author

Laila Ebadi


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  • This is most comprehensive piece of research on this topic. Thanks, Aamir, for making an effort to exposing and confronting the anti-democracy establishment in Pakistan. Thanks, Laila, for edits and posting.

  • I suggest that we at LUBP start creating a video archive in which videos on Youtube which are part of our articles are stored. We wouldnt want the videos taken off in future.

  • some relevant critical comments on twitter regarding PPP’s own involvement in vote rigging by @takhalus:

    the article on criticalppp about election rigging missed some key bits first rigging was in K-P.BBs 2nd gov rigged the K-P gov – the toppling of Sabir Shahs gov in 1993 was farcical, a person we knew distantly was a ANP MPA at the time.He was offered suitcases of $$ by Sherpao ..took that and then received briefcases of cash from the PML-N-ANP. took that and joined the PPP anyway because the cabinet was so large sherpao made him minister for museums! guy was a sleazy character blew all the money in a few years. In the 93 elections who forced the MQM to boycott and guarantee a PPP win and who propped PML-J and JI to split the PML vote?

  • the article on criticalppp about election rigging missed some key bits first rigging was in K-P.BBs 2nd gov rigged the K-P gov – the toppling of Sabir Shahs gov in 1993 was farcical,
    There is a difference between Election Rigging and Horse Trading. What happened in the second PPP Government was Horse Trading not Rigging.

  • the article on criticalppp about election rigging missed some key bits first rigging was in K-P.BBs 2nd gov rigged the K-P gov – the toppling of Sabir Shahs gov in 1993 was farcical,
    Differentiate between Horse Trading and Election Rigging and here are the details which as per “takhalus” were “Lacking”

    In a bid to get hold of the provincial governments, the center first successfully tried to topple the government of Sabir Shah in the NWFP through political maneuvering and horse-trading. Eqbal Ahmed gives a graphic account of the overthrow of the NWFP government through undemocratic means on February 27, 1994: “Independent MPAs — popularly known as Lotas — were being kept sequestered in Islamabad’s WAPDA House by the party in power. They had defected from the NWFP coalition obviously in return for the greater favors from those in power at the Center. Other MPAs from NWFP in the federal government’s hands were also held in the capital. When the day arrived for them to drag democracy into the filth of their ambitions, the government ferried them from Islamabad to Peshawar in three helicopters, reportedly belonging to the Cabinet Division. The Federal Minister of Interior received them at Peshawar’s Army Stadium. They were guarded and escorted by hundreds of battle-ready soldiers. Later, when Day One’s dismal business was done, they were flown back to Islamabad away from their home province and their constituencies.[Courtesy: The Fourth Republic by Abdus Sattar Ghazali]

  • The absence of the anti-defection law has invested MNAs and MPAs with the power to black mail their party leaders into extending them unreasonable concessions, triggering large-scale corruption.[17] The establishment brokered and manipulated a more than two thirds majority for the IJI in 1990, and the IJI resorted to blatant seduction of MPAs to prevent the PPP forming the government even in the lone province of Sindh during its 1990-1993 tenure. Benazir government toppled NWFP Chief Minister Pir Sabir Shah’s government in February 1994 as many MPAs were lured to join hands with the central government. In September, 1995, through the same method, the central government unsuccessfully attempted to install a PPP government in Punjab. [Courtesy: ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY Abdus Sattar Ghazali]

  • @Aamir: Elections as the documentry points out is a process not an event. The CoD addressed the issue by putting a reference to respecting political partys mandates. That is the reason why the PPP allowed the ANP and PML-N to form provincial govts in K-P and Punjab respectively something that has only happened twice before in pak history 1988 & 1972