KARACHI, May 12: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporters on Sunday staged a demonstration at the Teen Talwar roundabout in Clifton protesting against what they described as massive rigging during the May 11 vote.
They were particularly piqued by irregularities committed in NA-250, where the Election Commission of Pakistan has ordered repolling in over 40 polling stations.
Interestingly, while others across Sindh held news conferences about allegations of rigging and poured scorn on the Pakistan Peoples Party, PTI supporters took to social media — particularly Twitter — to vent their anger on the political party perceived to be behind rigging in Karachi and uploaded ballot-rigging videos and photographs.
The protest began after 5pm at the roundabout which is fast becoming a hot spot for demonstrations particularly for DHA and Clifton residents. Most voters gathered after receiving text messages who then forwarded it to other affected residents. Twitter too played a role in the collecting of protesters with Actwivist such as AiliaZehra sending out tweets like: “Karachites, join the protest against rigging at #TeenTalwar, Clifton.”
Soon afterwards, the road was blocked with protesters causing massive traffic jams. “I reached Teen Talwar at around 6pm and my goodness the crowd was huge,” says Laila Jatoi, a PTI supporter and DHA resident. “At first we were standing, then we all marched towards the U-turn of the underpass, shouting slogans such as ‘we want justice’ and ‘we want re-election’. And then we marched all the way back. PTI leaders Arif Alvi and Samar Ali Khan addressed the crowd,” added Ms Jatoi who also took her school-going son to the protest.
Later in the evening head of the Muttahida Quami Movement Altaf Hussain made a telephonic address to his supporters in which he alluded to the Teen Talwar protest. Judging from his remarks, he wasn’t particularly happy about the demonstration. He criticised the media for overplaying the Teen Talwar protest while not giving proportional coverage to MQM protests, such as the one staged in Doli Khata.
The protest demonstration — joined in later by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Awami National Party supporters — continued after Mr Hussain’s speech and ended on Sunday night.—Staff Reporter