PARACHINAR, May 26: A group of women on Sunday called off their weeklong sit-in protest against alleged rigging in NA-37 in Parachinar, Kurram Agency, after getting assurance that recounting of votes would be conducted at the disputed polling stations.

Supporters of independent candidate Syed Qaisar Hussain, who remained runner-up in the May 11 elections, had organised the sit-in in front of the political agent’s office. They were demanding re-polling and recounting at a few polling stations.

It was for the first time that women organised a sit-in protest against the polling results in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) where females were usually not allowed to cast their vote.

Mr Hussain had accused independent candidate Sajid Hussain Turi of rigging and stopping the women from casting votes. The Election Commission of Pakistan had declared Mr Turi winner from NA-37 after he secured over 30,000 votes against Mr Hussain’s 29,000.

The ECP later withdrew the notification and ordered vote recount in the constituency. Elders and ulema from Hangu and Peshawar also visited Parachinar and held talks with the protesters to resolve the dispute.

Mr Hussain told media persons on Sunday that negotiations between elders and protesters remained successful and the women ended their protest after officials of the political administration gave them assurance that recounting of votes would be conducted at the disputed polling stations.

He said that the political authorities had also made commitment that the relatives of female protesters would not be arrested. He said that he had approached the ECP for vote recount in the constituency.—Correspondent

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