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BADIN: The returning officer for NA-230 (Badin-II) has issued notices to 18 government officials who had acted as presiding officers at different polling stations in the constituency, directing them to file replies on a complaint lodged by MNA Dr Fehmida Mirza that her polling agents were denied Form 45 on election day.

RO Dr Mohammad Arif Rajput directed the officials to submit their replies in person by Aug 15 at 9am without fail for their onward transmission to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The former NA speaker and winning candidate of NA-230 had complained to the chief election commissioner in her letter dated Aug 2 that the presiding officers did not hand over Form 45 to her polling agents at several polling stations.

She said that results of all polling stations showed large number of votes were polled in her opponent’s favour who was contesting on a ticket of the party “which was being supported by the government”. This showed mala fide intentions on the part of presiding officers and their staff against her, she said.

The returning officer received a letter from ECP on Aug 8 and then issued letters to presiding officers of 18 polling stations which were numbered; 70, 75, 79, 107, 150, 216, 231, 234, 238, 250, 280, 295, 300, 306, 308, 311, 326 and 330.

Court vacates stay order on PS-54

HYDERABAD: Justices Azizur Rehman and Mohammad Saleem Jessar of the Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday vacated the court’s interim order passed on Aug 3, which had restrained Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from notifying result of Abdul Razzaq Rahimoon who had won PS-54 as independent candidate.

The interim order was passed by Justices Zafar Ahmed Rajput and Mohammad Iqbal Mahar on a petition filed by the losing candidate PPP’s Dost Mohammad Rahimoon.

Ishrat Ali Lohar advocate, who represented Abdul Razzaq, argued that Supreme Court had vacated a similar stay order in an identical matter involving Imran Khan, prime minister-in-waiting and PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafiq on NA-131 Lahore.

He also produced copies of two similar orders passed by the Sukkur bench of the SHC and the other by the Larkana bench of the SHC, vacating stay orders in identical cases.

He requested the court to recall the Aug 3 interim order and the court vacated the order subject to final outcome in election petitions pending in the apex court.

The court adjourned hearings in identical cases of GDA’s Khuda Bux Rajar and independent candidate Syed Ali Nawaz Shah and others.

A constitutional petition filed by Jamshed Ali Shaikh of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who lost on NA-226 (Latifabad) to Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s candidate, was dismissed for non-prosecution. Sheikh had requested the court to order vote recount on his seat which was won by MQM’s Sabir Kaimkhani.

Earlier, the bench had restrained ECP from notifying result of returned candidate on NA-215 (Sanghar) where GDA’s Khuda Bux Rajar had lost to PPP’s Naveed Dero and PS-48 of Mirpurkhas where independent candidate Syed Ali Nawaz Shah had lost to PPP’s Zulfikar Shah.

The court adjourned hearing on a petition filed by Dr Sikandar Shoro, who had requested vote recount on PS-82 Jamshoro-III which was won by PPP’s Malik Asad Sikandar. Mr Shoro had got the stay order vacated by the apex court.

Hearing on a petition filed by MQM’s candidate for PS-64 Younus Gaddi who lost to PPP’s Abdul Jabbar Khan was also adjourned by the court.

AT terms recent polls ‘worst ever’

Awami Tehreek has termed July 25 general election the worst ever polls held in the history of Pakistan and condemned what it called anti-Sindh pact between Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Grand Democratic Alliance.

The party’s central committee meeting held here on Monday with Dr Rasool Bux Khaskheli in the chair said that democratic institutions were held hostage in the name of democracy.

Sanctity of vote was never accepted in the country as the anti-democratic forces had always thrust rulers of their own choice on the country by commandeering electoral process, said the meeting.

The meeting observed that Imran Khan was the one who had taken evidence against MQM to London courts and he had now signed an agreement with the same party in order to become prime minister.

The meeting said the pact between PTI and MQM also included a proposal for the bifurcation of Sindh in the name of administrative units and a similar path had been adopted by GDA.

The meeting resolved to hold protests, hunger strikes and short marches till Aug 31 against water shortage, construction of dams over Indus and MQM-PTI-GDA pact.

The meeting appointed Sartaj Ahmed Chandio as party’s central vice president and decided to establish a trust in memory of party founder Rasool Bux Palijo.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2018