MANSEHRA/ ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/ PESHAWAR/LAHORE: Several candidates, particularly runners up, have approached high courts of the country with allegations of rigging, false results and violent incidents at polling stations which marred the polling process and pleaded for holding of electoral results and holding of re-polling.
Former premier Nawaz Sharif Saturday challenged the electoral result of constituency NA-15 Mansehra-II. In a writ petition, Nawaz Sharif stated that several areas of Mansehra are facing difficulties in communication due to snowfall. “The request mentioned that over 125 polling stations did not submit Form 45, yet the results were announced, therefore the results of NA-15 should be halted.” According to unofficial results from all the 550 polling stations in the constituency, independent candidate Shahzada Muhammad Ghastasif Khan secured victory with 105,249 votes. Nawaz Sharif remained second with 80,382 votes.
Meanwhile, PTI affiliated independent candidate and lawyer Shoaib Shaheen moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday, challenging the results of the NA-47 Islamabad-II constituency. Shaheen was defeated by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) candidate Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, who clinched the constituency by bagging 102,502 votes in the 2024 general elections that were held on February 8. Meanwhile, Shaheen remained a runner-up as he received 86,396 votes. The independent candidate challenged the results issued by the Returning Officer (RO) in the court.
Speaking to media persons in the court, the lawyer said that he and Ali Bukhari filed a petition. He said that they had requested the registrar’s office to schedule a hearing today. “We request the IHC’s chief justice to hear the case immediately. The whole of Islamabad knows that NA-47 is my constituency,” said Shaheen, adding that they also have Form 45. “The ROs are being pressurised,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lahore High Court (LHC) has accepted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf backed Independent candidates’ petitions against the election results of 20 National and Punjab assemblies’ constituencies, including two former prime ministers of Pakistan, and fixed for hearing tomorrow (February 12). Justice Ali Baqir Najafi will hear petitions against elections results of 20 constituencies of the National and Provincial Assembly including two ex-prime ministers -- Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shehbaz Sharif -- as well as Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Abdul Aleem Khan, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Attaullah Tarar, Saif-ul-Maluk Khokhar and others.
In the petitions, it is argued that the petitioners were successful candidates as per Form-45, while the Returning Officers (ROs) declared the losing candidates as successful in Form-47. They argued that ROs did not even allow them to sit during the counting of votes. While alleging in their petitions that the results have been altered, the petitioners requested the honorable court that the Election Commission of Pakistan should be ordered to conduct a recount and be restrained from issuing the notification of the successful candidates till the final decision.
In NA-130, Ishtiaq Chaudhry, the lawyer of Dr. Yasmin Rashid, challenged the victory of Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz Sharif won by obtaining 171,024 votes from 376 polling stations, while PTI-backed independent candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid obtained 115,043 votes.
In NA-119, the independent candidate Shahzad Farooq challenged victory of PMLN chief organizer Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who was declared successful with 83855 votes with independent candidate Shahzad Farooq declared as runners-up with 68376 votes.
In NA-118 Lahore, PTI-backed independent candidate Alia Hamza challenged the victory of PMLN leader Hamza Shehbaz. In NA-117 Lahore, the victory of Aleem Khan, President of Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), was challenged. In NA-126, independent candidate Malik Tauqir Khokhar challenged the victory of PMLN’s Saif-ul-Maluk Khokhar. In NA-127, the independent candidate Zaheer Abbas Khokhar challenged the victory of PMLN candidate and party’s Punjab deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar. In NA-71 Sialkot, independent candidate Rehana Dar challenged the victory of PMLN leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif from Sialkot.
In PP-47 Sialkot, PTI-backed independent candidate Mehr Kashif challenged the victory of PMLN candidate Manshaullah Butt. In PP-162 Lahore, independent candidate Shabbir Gujjar challenged the victory of PMLN candidate Malik Shahbaz Khokhar. In PP-169 Lahore, PTI-backed independent candidate Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed challenged the victory of PMLN candidate Khalid Khokhar. PTI-backed independent candidates also challenged the victories of PMLN candidates from PP-62 Gujranwala, PP-53 Sialkot and PP-46 Sialkot.
Earlier, on February 9, Justice Ali Baqir Najafi of the LHC restrained further proceedings on the election results of NA-128, suspending the operation of Form-47 prepared by the RO in the absence of the PTI-backed independent candidate Salman Akram Raja or his agent.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq has called on the CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja to step down, alleging that ECP failed to conduct transparent elections. “A fake government will be formed through fake elections. The CEC failed to ensure transparent elections and should resign” Haq said while speaking to the media in Lahore, reported a local news channel.
Stressing that international media as well as the EU have raised concerns over the electoral process, the JI chief lamented the denial of a level-laying field for the political parties. Calling for the people’s rights to be upheld, the politician warned that the party would make “independent” decisions if the ECP does not rectify its ways. Ensure transparent elections in the first place as the formation of the government comes later, he added.
JI’s Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman, while leading a protest in front of ECP’s office in Karachi, has said that the party will not step down and will fight to protect its mandate. “Only the JI and PTI secured votes in Karachi,” he said while questioning how the MQM-P emerged victorious in the metropolis.
Meanwhile, PTI’s Barrister Ali Zafar has said that the former ruling party will approach courts after its mandate was “stolen” overnight. Speaking outside the Adiala Jail, after being denied to meet PTI founder Imran Khan, Ali Zafar claimed that the party-backed independent candidates have won 154 National Assembly seats, reported local news channel on Saturday.
On the issue of poll results, the politician said that forms 47 will be “reversed” on the basis of forms 45. “All independent candidates are and will remain with the PTI,” he said while commenting on the future political affiliation of the independent candidates. “The PTI founder’s message is that party will not allow the mandate of people to be stolen under any circumstances,” he said.
Also, terming the results of their constituencies manipulated, eight PTI-backed independent candidates from the provincial capital have approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). They had also filed petitions in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) a day earlier against the ‘false’ result of their respective constituencies.
Those who have challenged the results include PTI backed candidate for NA-28 Sajid Nawaz, former provincial minister and independent candidate Taimur Saleem Jhagra from PK-79, Kamran Bangash (PK-82), Mahmood Jan (PK-72), Arbab Jahandad (PK-74), Asim Khan (PK-78), Ali Zaman Advocate (PK-73) and Malik Shahab from (PK-75).
As per the provisional results, they were the runner-up in their respective constituencies in the February 8 elections. “Being the actual winners, we had moved the PHC on Friday. We have also approached ECP, which will hear our plea tomorrow,” Taimur Saleem Jhagra told reporters on Saturday. Other candidates were also present on the occasion.
They said that RO and DROs had told them privately that they were compelled to change the results. They said the candidates were expelled and results were changed during the night. Taimur Jhagra said that Ali Zaman, Mehmood Jan, Arbab Jehandad, Malik Shahab and Asim Khan had got thousands of votes but the candidates on the third or fourth numbers were declared winners. They said that candidates, who had secured only 1,600 votes, were declared winners with 26,000 votes. He claimed that Kamran Bangash had secured more than 30,000 votes but Tariq Awan, who was on the seventh position, was declared winner. They said that Noor Alam Khan had got only 38,000 votes but 100,000 votes were added to his tally.
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