Expelled NWFP legislators allege fraud
Three legislators from Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), expelled on charge of cross voting in the state assembly, have alleged that their resignations were "faked" to "please" Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani.
Maulana Dildar, Rukhsana Raz, a woman legislator, and and Gor Saran Lal, a Hindu, are members of the NWFP Assembly from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), which is part of the ruling Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) in the province.
The legislators told the media on Sunday that they were still members of the NWFP Assembly and would move court against their expulsion from the party.
They claimed said their votes were in line with the party directives and that they did not violate the party discipline, adding that there was no truth in the accusation that they had sold their votes.
Raz said that her resignation was bogus since she had not resigned. "I do not even know whether the resignation letter was in Urdu, Pushto, or Arabic," she said.
Raz, who was elected to a seat reserved for women from Shabqadar Matta, denied voting for the opposition member, saying she was expelled because she was vocal in criticising the party.
"My fault is that I have been vocal and criticised the government's flawed policies. The NWFP chief minister has taken revenge," she said.
"He (Durrani) and his party call President (Pervez) Musharraf a dictator but he is himself a dictator running all the affairs of the government single-handedly. He has held the entire party (JUI-F) hostage," said Raz.
She said Musarrat Mushtaq, a "genuine" party member, was told to withdraw from the election to make way for a wealthy outsider, Shahina Jamil.
"Is this not horse-trading? The chief minister is himself involved in it by bringing imported candidates," she claimed.