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Saturday July 20, 2024

PTI protests against ECP across country

Sheikh Rashid said that if the ruling coalition wants the country not to head towards a “civil war”, elections should be held before May 30

By Azaz Syed & Nausheen Yusuf
April 27, 2022
PTI Multan women protesting against the CEC in Multan on April 26, 2022. Photo: The News/File
PTI Multan women protesting against the CEC in Multan on April 26, 2022. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: PTI activists staged protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s offices across the country on Tuesday against its alleged biased attitude.

The protesters said that they were demonstrating against the electoral body’s “biased attitude” towards the PTI. They also demanded the ECP conclude the foreign funding case filed by the PTI against the PMLN and PPP. Apart from the foreign funding case, the protesters also demanded the ECP unseat the dissident MNAs of the PTI, adding that if the ECP fails to do so, it would be “violating” the Constitution.

Many PTI leaders and AML leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addressed the protesters outside the ECP headquarters. Rashid, who was also the interior minister during the previous government, said that if the ruling coalition wants the country not to head towards a “civil war”, elections should be held before May 30. “They (coalition government) used to demand elections now, why are they running away from it?” Rashid asked, adding that elections cannot be stopped.

PTI leader Shibli Faraz said that the party was recording a “symbolic protest” outside the ECP’s office. The former science and technology minister also alleged that the government had blocked all roads leading to the ECP headquarters which had stopped many people from gathering.

Apart from the protests outside the ECP headquarters in Islamabad, protests were also held outside the electoral body’s provincial headquarters in Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar. Similar protests were also held in the other districts.

According to Geo News, the PTI protesters outside the ECP’s office in Karachi had decided to march towards the Sindh High Court but later returned to the provincial headquarters of the electoral body.

Ahead of the protests, the security was tightened outside the ECP offices across the country, especially its headquarters. The interior ministry had sent letters to the four chief secretaries, the Islamabad commissioner and inspector-general of police to provide security to the ECP offices because of the protests. The officials were also told to increase security for the four provincial chief election commissioners.

In Islamabad, barbed wires and containers were placed outside the entrance to the ECP building. A prisoner van was also placed outside the ECP’s headquarters in Islamabad.