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PTI workers protest against ‘rigging’

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI, May 13: A few thousand Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) workers on Monday held a demonstration at the D-Chowk against what they termed rigging of votes in some constituencies of Lahore and Karachi.

The PTI has won 26 National Assembly seats, of which 16 came from Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP), and the rest from Punjab. The PTI has won one National Assembly seat in Islamabad and two in Rawalpindi division.

Holding party flags and placards inscribed with slogans like: “Where is my vote, I voted for the PTI” “Don’t rig PTI’s mandate” “tum kitni rigging karo gay, har ghar say Imran Khan niklay ga”.

They also demanded re-election at least in Lahore and Karachi.

Faisal Durrani, 28, a Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf volunteer, said: “We are here just to record our protest against rigging in Lahore and Karachi, and have come here on our own.”

Deputy Secretary Information of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Faisal Javed Khan, who was also present on the occasion, denied any role of the party’s leadership in organising the protest rally.

He said the party workers were furious at what transpired on the day of election against PTI’s candidates.Although majority of the participants were young, some families could also be seen sitting on nearby footpath.

Saeed Malik, 65, a former government employee, said first time he attended an election rally during Z.A Bhutto time in early 70s, and, “now I have come out for Imran Khan. I think he has the capacity to lead the country in right direction.”

Majority of the protesters through their placards hit out at Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Ahsan Iqbal of the PML-N for their alleged interference in polling stations in their respective constituencies.

“We are here to nudge their (Rafiq and Iqbal) conscience, if they have any,” said young Fatima, a medical student of a local medical college.

A group of protesters said it was not just matter of one or two constituencies, they were here to protest against overall cases of fraud elections.

Mr Javed Khan, however, could not give the exact time frame for their protest.

“We have no intention to derail the ongoing transition of government from the caretakers to the PML-N, but, will use our democratic right of protest,” added Mr Javed.

However, the protester, Mr Durrani said that if they keep quiet now, the PML-N would again steal their mandate in next elections.

While talking to Dawn, Rawalpindi District PTI President Sadaqat Abbasi said that the elections on NA-54, 52 and PP-6, 7, 10 and some others were rigged.

“The returning officers announced results after three days which raise questions about their authenticity,” he said.

He said that the results of those polling stations where PML-N getting lead were announced within but the results for NA-53, NA-52, PP-6, PP-7, PP-10 and three others were stopped.

“The results from far flung areas like Murree and Kotli Sattiyan received on the same day but they reach late from the polling station established in Rawalpindi city,” he said.

“The Punjab government employees are favouring former opposition leader in the National Assembly Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and manipulated the results of PP-6 and PP-7 where Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf candidates won according to the results of polling stations,” Sadaqat Abbasi alleged.