General election was fair, forensic audit needed to ascertain RTS collapse: Fawad

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APP44-31 ISLAMABAD: August 31 – Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Senator Azam Khan Swati jointly addressing a press conference at PID Media Centre. APP photo by Saeed-ul-Mulk

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP):The recent general election was free and fair yet controversy of Result Transmission System’s (RTS) failure was created to make it controversial and there was a need to hold forensic audit of the server at National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) to check whether it malfunctioned or was intentionally closed.
This was stated by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Senator Azam Swati at a joint press conference here.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said his party believed in free and fair electoral system and desired
that no one should be able to raise finger towards its transparency. He reminded that it was Pakistan cricket team’s captain Imran Khan who introduced neutral umpires in international cricket and he strongly believed in such fairness and transparency in electoral process of the country.
He said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif spent billions of rupees on his foreign visits
and always stayed in London on the expense of tax payers money. Besides Nawaz Shairf, his sons Hussain Nawaz, Hassan Nawaz and his daughter Maryam Nawaz illegally spent Rs 17,148,603 on their trips on official aircraft.
He said that this expenditure did not include the trips of Hamza Shehbaz and other members
of Shehbaz Sharif family as they used Punjab government’s aircraft and helicopter. Moreover he said that illegal helicopter expenditures of the children of Nawaz Sharif were Rs 6,230,000. A bill of Rs 25 million would be sent to Sharif family for its recovery, he added.
Senator Azam Swati said that July 25 elections were free and fair and they should not be made controversial for failure of RTS as all the returning officers have the images of Form 45 with them which could not be changed, tempered or deleted. At mid-night even the Election Commission of Pakistan did not know about the failure of RTS, how come Shehbaz Sharif got the information about its malfunctioning and failure, Azam Swati questioned.
He said that RTS servers were in possession of NADRA and it was necessary to hold forensic audit of the three servers of the system to ascertain if the system collapsed or it was intentionally closed down.
He claimed that by 2.00 a.m. on the election night 42,862 images of From 45 had been transmitted which constituted 51 per cent of the results and only 91 complaints were reported.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that NADRA had control of the entire system and the way services of its chairman and other high ups were hired by the previous government raised many questions.
He said that experts of National Telecommunication Information Technology Security Board (NTISB) should check why the system collapsed and why NADRA had no backup of the system.
There was no justification in the claims that due to over burden the telecom towers failed to transmit the Form -45 images sent by the Presiding Officers as on the occasion of Eid tens of millions of images are shared without choking of the system, he added.
Swati also said that during the recent meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Interior he
raised 15 questions, and the answers of ECP and NADRA were contradictory.
He said that Rs 21 billion were paid to ECP for holding free and fair election and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party appointed the members and chief election commissioner.
Later replying to questions of media persons, Chaudhry Fawad clarified that his ministry did not
pay for air tickets and stay of anchorpersons.
He said that the illegal use of Punjab government aircraft and helicopters was a provincial matter and the provincial government could take action.