Chief Election Commissioner denies holding secret meetings with president.


Byline: Iftikhar A. Khan

ISLAMABAD -- Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has rejected as baseless the accusation of holding secret meetings at night with President Dr Arif Alvi.

Talking to Dawn on Monday, he challenged a prominent anchor, who made the claim, to substantiate it and declared that he would resign if it was proven.

The anchor in a tweet alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan had tasked President Dr Arif Alvi with managing the CEC and the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He claimed that the CEC was often seen at the Presidency where he held secret meetings with the president. 'It appears the new CEC will break the records of Sardar Muhammad Raza,' he tweeted.

Says he will resign if the claim is proven

Mr Raja, while rejecting the allegation as totally baseless, said he had neither ever met PM Khan nor received any message from him.

Likewise, he said, he had never received any message or advice from President Alvi. 'I am not in the habit of taking such advice,' he remarked.

'I don't have any contact either through messaging or through any indirect channel or through personal contact with the president. I met the president only once in my life and that was a formal call for a few minutes.'

He said Dr Alvi was constitutional head of the state and there was no need for him to hold a clandestine meeting with him.

The most prominent case before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) foreign funding pending since November 2014.

If the verdict in the case goes against the PTI, Dr Alvi will be held accountable as the party's former secretary general along with chairman Imran Khan.

The petitioner in the foreign funding case against the PTI, Akbar S. Babar, while talking to Dawn, said that if it was true the news of alleged secret meetings between President Alvi and the CEC was alarming and disturbing.

He said the PTI had tried every trick in the book and beyond to delay the case which was a documented fact to the extent that the ECP in its order dated Oct 10, 2019 declared the PTI guilty of historic abuse of...

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