Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), in early August, announced it would bring a White Paper against alleged election rigging. While addressing reporters at a press conference on August 5, in Islamabad, party chairman Imran Khan said that his party would issue a White Paper on August 16 regarding widespread election rigging in the 2013 general elections.
Later, PTI changed the date of the issuance of White paper, saying that it was a huge task and was being documented. Imran Khan, at another press conference, said that the white paper would be issued on August 21.
PTI was considered a very popular party during the 2013 election campaign. Political pundits also considered the PTI the biggest competitor of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). However, in the elections, PTI could not achieve the expected majority votes. Party leadership blamed its defeat on election rigging and manipulation on the part of PLM-N election management. The PTI, after losing the elections, announced it would bring out a White paper exposing PML-N’s election rigging and clear the party’s image in public.
The White Paper was aimed at exposing rigging in the May 11 general polls, explaining how final election results were manipulated to achieve desired outcomes in over 35 National Assembly constituencies. Shirin Mizari, the party spokesperson, said that the paper would expose how some politicians allegedly managed to obtain desired results in their respective constituencies on May 11. She further said that the documentary and visual proof of mismatches in the results would also be presented to both the Supreme Court (SC) as well as to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The White paper was much awaited. It took more than two months to complete this document. The party first planned to publish it on August 16 but could not compile it. Later, it was decided to publish it on August 21. The paper was to contain copies of the police reports filed with regard to electoral irregularities and criminal acts of the PTI opponents in different areas and some video clips. The PTI chairman Khan released the document on August 21 at a press conference in Islamabad.
Imran Khan also urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to verify thumb impressions of voters in four constituencies. He said 400 petitions were filed in election tribunals, out of which 64 were filed by the PTI candidates. He said the objective of issuing the white paper was to forward the democratic process and bring it closer to the parliamentary democracy of the Westminster model. He said it was not about bringing a change in the government or to disturb the whole process.
Independent political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi told TruthTracker that such White papers were part of politics and democratic struggle. These papers put pressures on the government and help the parties in gaining popularity if such documents are based on truth.
PTI managed to release White Paper on August 21 hence the promise stands fulfilled.