LAHORE: As enthusiastic workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf held sits-in in several cities of the country on Monday in protest against alleged irregularities in elections, PTI chairman Imran Khan said the party had collected evidence of rigging in 25 constituencies of the National Assembly and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to look into the complaints.
Mr Khan, who is bed-ridden at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital since May 7 after falling off a fork-lift vehicle, called for re-counting in constituencies identified for rigging complaints.
The PTI chief said the party would soon issue a white-paper on election rigging complaints.
Meanwhile, the PTI Punjab chapter has called its parliamentary board meeting in Lahore to discuss the ‘massive rigging evidence’ the party has found.
The PTI’s MPAs-elect will attend the meeting. The PTI’s election complaint cell has already collected and forwarded some 8,000 complaints to the Election Commission.
On the other hand, the party’s supporters, comprising largely youth and women, have been continuously protesting in different parts of the province, including three areas in Lahore. A sit-in has been going on at Lalak Jan Chowk in Defence Housing Authority since Sunday afternoon.
The protesters have started calling the Lalak Jan Chowk as the “Insaf Square”.
“This Chowk will become the Tahrir Square of Pakistan,” said Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan, referring to the massive rallies held in the Egyptian capital two years ago which finally led to the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak’s government.
Imran Khan, the PTI chief, has also tweeted on the internet that he was standing with the protesters.
Ms Aleema Khan said the results from all over Punjab and particularly in Lahore were highly unexpected.
“How come 62 per cent turnout and almost 90 per cent voters casting vote for the PTI but results declaring PML-N candidates winners,” she asked.
She said the demonstrations would continue till the ECP took action and let justice prevail. She also quoted Imran as saying: “Morally, I am standing with you. If physically fit, I would have myself been standing with the protesters”.
Speaking to journalists, PTI leaders Shafqat Mahmood, Hamid Khan, Ahsan Rasheed, Fauzia Kasuri and others said that the PTI would carry out sits-in across Punjab on Tuesday. They alleged that the PML-N had staged rigging with the cooperation of police and polling station staff.
Alleging worst-ever rigging, the PTI leaders called for re-election in NA-122 and NA-125 under the army’s supervision. The PTI lost to the PML-N in the two Lahore constituencies and among the losers was Imran Khan.
The PTI supporters have also been holding demonstrations in other areas such as Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital Chowk and Icchra in Lahore; at Shahrah-i-Faisal and Teen Talwar Chowk in Karachi; and D-Chowk in Islamabad.
Umer Zaheer Meer, the party’s complaint cell in-charge, told Dawn that he had collected some 8,000 election-related complaints from across the country and submitted them to the ECP.