The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday decreed that the PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan’s allegations against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja were baseless. Addressing a public meeting in Sheikhupura, Imran had alleged that the Election Commission favoured Punjab CM and PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz Sharif. However, the Commission defended the CEC and rejected Imran’s comments. In a statement, the Commission said, “By issuing fatwas of treason, an institution cannot be declared a traitor”. The Commission further argued that it will continue to make all decisions in light of the Constitution and laws without succumbing to pressure or emotions. This is not the first time Imran has leveled allegations against the CEC. Earlier, speaking at the PTI’s farmers’ convention in Islamabad, he had alleged that the CEC was taking orders from Hamza Shehbaz and Maryam Nawaz. “Both of the leaders want to rig elections with the help of the Election Commission,” he had alleged. However, on June 15, the ECP rubbished the claims and maintained that the elections would be held in a transparent manner and in accordance with the law. On July 5, addressing a news conference, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar also accused the provincial government of striving to rig the upcoming by-elections in 20 constituencies of the assembly and warned the bureaucrats to refrain from conniving with the rulers to manipulate the by-elections. Rafiq Khan Niazi, who is a covering candidate for the PTI’s main candidate for the seat, Irfanullah Khan Niazi, claimed that government officials were being pressured to indulge in illegal acts through the video links. He said he had received reports about plans to rig the elections in 35 polling stations and cast 20,000 fake votes. He had maintained that the ruling PML-N was known to have indulged in such malpractices in the past, but the district returning officer had failed to allay the concerns of the PTI.