Karachi, Feb.17 : The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has expressed shock over aHuman Rights Watch report that claims that Pakistan's Attorney-General Malik Abdul Qayyum was aware of a plan for poll rigging.
Describing it as a "profoundly shocking disclosure", the party's information secretary, Sherry Rehman, was quoted by the dawn as saying that Qayyum's conversation was actually an official document of proof of rigging.
"Qayyum was clearly privy to the regime's plans of poll rigging. He, therefore, sounded very confident that both the PPP and the PML-N will be 'in trouble' if they decided to contest polls," Rehman said.
"This also shows that the rigging was under way much before elections were scheduled. Our lawyers are also looking into other implications behind this conversation, which may even have links to Shaheed's security," she added.
Rehman said that the tape was a serious issue as the confirmation of rigging emanated from a source as authoritative as the Attorney-General of Pakistan.
Demanding that Qayyum should provide further details of the rigging plan, she said that it was his constitutional obligation, both as the Attorney General of Pakistan and as a citizen of the country, to share this crucial information.
She also demanded his resignation.
On Saturday, Qayyum had rejected allegations that he said there would be massive rigging in Monday's election.
Human Rights Watch released an audio recording, in which it says Qayyum makes the comments about rigging.
The Human Rights Watch claims that Qayyum made the comments over the phone to an unknown person in November.
Qayyum is a close ally of President Musharraf.
According to the BBC, the recording released by Human Rights Watch was reportedly made on November 21, 2007, just after an announcement confirming the elections would be held on January 8, 2008.
The elections, the government says will be free and fair.
The audio, released on the website of HRW, was obtained by it from secret sources and the organisation accused the attorney-general of saying "that the upcoming parliamentary elections will be massively rigged".
Malik Qayyum, however, told The News that the recording was a fake and a conspiracy against him because he was close to Musharraf.
He said the release of this fake audio was a conspiracy against him and the president.
The Human Rights Watch claims that the conversation was recorded when a journalist was interviewing Qayyum and he took another call, putting the journalist on hold. The said journalist was recording the call and thus the conversation of Qayyum with an unidentified person was recorded ultimately.
The HRW press release also claimed that its repeated attempts to contact Qayyum by phone were unsuccessful.