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ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) workers gathered outside the building of Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday to protest against the alleged rigging in the recent by-election on a National Assembly seat in Khushab. They demanded verification of voters’ thumbprints.

The workers accompanied by Malik Umer Aslam – the PTI candidate from NA-69 (Khushab) who lost the contest – chanted slogans against the federal and Punjab governments for the alleged rigging and accused the ECP of inaction.

The seat had fallen vacant after disqualification of Sumaira Malik of the PML-N on the fake degree issue. Ms Malik had won three consecutive elections from the constituency in the past.

After her disqualification, her son Uzair Khan contested the by-election on the PML-N and beat Mr Aslam.

Mr Aslam filed a petition with the ECP seeking verification of thumb impressions of voters and withholding of the official result till final decision of the complaint.

In his petition, he alleged that his opponent used unfair means to win the election, including use of firearms on the polling day at different polling stations.

He alleged that thousands of fake votes were polled at gunpoint and a presiding officer was slapped when he tried to stop former PML-N MPA Ali Haider Noor Niazi and Abdul Raheem from doing so.

Mr Aslam alleged that the returning officer on the instructions of the provincial government had extended the polling time by one hour without his consent.

He accused Punjab chief minister’s son Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and some other legislators belonging to the PML-N of pressurising the returning officer and presiding officers to get result of election in favour of their candidate.