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Monday March 04, 2024

‘Rigged election results to be rejected, fake mandate to be resisted’

By our correspondents
February 11, 2024

The Jamaat-e-Islami and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) held a big demonstration against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday to protest against the alleged poll rigging and changing of results in national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies of Karachi during the February 8 general elections. They also announced extending their protests across the city.

Supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami protest and PTI against riggings in general elections outside the Election Commission Office, in Karachi on February 10, 2024. — Online
Supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami protest and PTI against riggings in general elections outside the Election Commission Office, in Karachi on February 10, 2024. — Online

Addressing the protest demonstration outside the ECP Sindh office in Saddar, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman announced that his party would hold sit-in protests at eight major spots in the city on Sunday (today).

PTI leaders Aftab Jehangir, Barrister Abdul Jaleel and others also joined the protest, while JI leaders Osama Razi, Munim Zafar, Saifuddin Advocate and others addressed the protest.

Carrying placards and banners inscribed with demands for the rectification of the election results, the protestors shouted slogans against the election commission and those who “facilitated and sponsored the rigging process”.

Rehman said that the mandate of the masses across the country was insulted on February 8. He said Karachiites have rejected the forces of chaos, target killers, extortionists, criminals and murderers of 259 factory workers in Baldia Town.

However, he added, the elements grown in the nursery of the establishment have been imposed on the city. He made it clear that Karachi would not accept target killers any more because it cannot afford the era of blood and hate once again.

The JI leader said that some elements have attempted to inflate the ruptured political balloons. However, he remarked, everyone knows that the already ruptured balloons would not be able to sustain. The eras of feudalism and fascism have gone, he stressed.

He also commended all the residents of the city for their strong protest. “The public will end this protest by exercising their rights,” he said. “On February 8 the people’s mandate was violated.”

Rehman said phone services were shut down, and force was used for “rigging”. The people’s right to vote is a slap in the face of society, he pointed out.

He said that the public’s mandate is on one side, while thieves enter through the back door. Things like the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) emerge due to rigging, he added. He also said his party would not tolerate “electoral terrorism”. “There will be no terrorism by the election commission.”

Addressing his party’s workers, he said that a movement to safeguard the city is welcoming them with open arms. “If you remain silent, the city will once again be filled with corpses,” he warned.

The JI leader pointed out that his party has Form 45s in their possession, and according to the figures mentioned in them, the MQM does not have even 10,000 votes in any of the constituencies of the city. He said the residents of the city have defeated extortionists and terrorists. “Those who could not even be faithful to their founder leader, how will they serve the people?”

Rehman said the JI and the PTI have won. He said the election commissioner should pay heed to them because they would not accept any fake results and would resist fake mandates. ‘Mandate stolen’

PTI leaders said that PTI-backed independent candidates have won the majority of the city’s national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies, but the mandate of the residents has been hijacked.

They blamed the ECP for allegedly manipulating the election results in favour of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the MQM. They claimed that this clearly shows that they are serving some other elements other than the country and the state.

They also announced that their party’s workers and supporters would hold more protest demonstrations as well as challenge the results of the elections in court.

PTI leader Dawa Khan said that Karachi’s mandate was stolen. He said that if a vote is not respected, people would not step out of their homes to vote in the next elections.

Khan said his party has 285 Form 45s of NA-242, according to which he has already won. He claimed that the MQM resorted to rigging late in the night with the help of the police and the Rangers.

He said that had they contested the polls with the bat symbol, one cannot even imagine the number of votes the PTI’s candidates would have received. If the election commission takes dictation from someone else, people will not step out of their homes to vote next time, he added.

He also said that people have proved with their votes that the MQM has no mandate in this city. He claimed that the MQM’s Mustafa Kamal has stolen the people’s mandate. “How will he go and sit in the parliament?”

The PTI leader said the people of Karachi are politically aware, adding that there is no share of the MQM in the city. He said the MQM should apologise to the people for “stealing” their votes.