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TOBA TEK SINGH: Returning Officer (RO) for Pirmahal PP-123 Shahwar Amin Wahga issued on Thursday Form-49 after the recount of ballots of 21, of 209 polling stations, of the constituency and declared PML-N candidate Pir Qutab Ali Baba as winner with a lead of 17 votes.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI’s) Sonia Ali Raza was declared winner with a lead of 70 votes. With the new result enforced, the PTI has lost one PA seat.

According to Form-49, Mr Baba secured 53,122 and Ms Raza 53,105 votes.

The recount was ordered by the Lahore High Court (LHC) which continued for three days.

During the recount, when Sonia’s 70 votes lead ended in just 21 out of 209 polling station and he also got the lead of 17 votes, Mr Baba requested the RO to stop the process. The RO issued on Thursday Form-49 in which Pir Qutab Ali Baba was declared as winner and Sonia Ali Raza as defeated.

Ms Raza had also filed an intra court appeal with the LHC against the order of recount which was rejected on Wednesday.

Ms Raza alleged on Thursday that the RO was a mureed (follower) of the shrine of elder of Mr Baba so he rigged the process for Baba after opening bags and he double-stamped her votes to reject them. She added that she had moved the Election Commission of Pakistan to stop the recount but in vain.

She said she had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the LHC decision and the result issued by the RO which the Supreme Court would take up on Friday. Also, on LHC orders, the recount of NA-112 votes started on Thursday in the office of RO Naeem Amer.

The recounting will continue on Friday also.

PTI ticket holder Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq had filed a petition before the LHC for recount.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018