HYDERABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim has called the just-concluded first phase of local government election in Sindh a ‘fixed match’ which is still going on and demanded probe into incidents of massive rigging, violence and open partisanship by polling staff.

The former Sindh chief minister said at a press conference in Qasimabad on Friday that their opponents were highly experienced in rigging elections. He had advised his friends against participating in such sham polls and was in favour of boycott because he believed rival parties had little chances of winning when a political party was in power, he said.

He said that regional election commissioner had no answer to uncountable complaints about rigging. He did not see any improvement in future as well because all officers were appointed by the present government, he said.

He said that ballot books were missing at many polling stations. Rangers’ personnel were deployed but they were only tasked with security out of polling stations, he said.

He said that he had no trust in Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) because all its members had political affiliations. All those people who did not vote for PPP were being victimised now, he said.

Arbab said that media used to bombard people with stories of price-hike in Imran Khan’s government although he had actually kept the inflation in check and he was ousted exclusively because he did not bow to IMF’s anti-people conditions. If Imran Khan had taken such decisions people would have become disappointed in state, he said.

He said that decisions on energy and petroleum products had always serious implications. This government would not have spared Imran Khan if it had found some evidence against him, he said.

At another news conference at local press club on Friday, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Sindh chapter information secretary Maulana Taj Mohammad Nahiyoon and other party leaders demanded ECP and Supreme Court hold re-election.

They said that the second phase of LG election should be held afresh under supervision of Rangers. The ruling PPP had massively rigged election and broken its own past records of rigging, he said.

They alleged that returning and district returning officers were ‘bought’ during election and votes were forcibly increased at polling stations. Results in many constituencies had been withheld, around 300 activists of JUI-F were subjected to violence and 50 were booked on terrorism charges, they said.

They condemned implication of activists in false cases on terrorism charges and demanded withdrawal of charges. Despite strong arm tactics employed by the ruling PPP, their party had emerged as the second largest religio-political party in Sindh with 253 seats, they said, adding JUI-F would contest the second phase of LG election.

They said that the staff of polling station was kidnapped which was unprecedented in the country’s history. PPP had lost its popularity in the province despite its 14 years rule, they said.

‘There is jungle’s in Sindh’

PTI leaders Imran Ismail and Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh have said that there is jungle’s law in Sindh where the bereaved family of the party worker, who died after a violent attack on him on election day in Tando Adam, has been forced to leave the province.

The two leaders were talking to journalists after offering condolences to the relatives of Zafar Gandapur, a PTI candidate for ward No.13, Tando Adam who suffered injuries and his brother Qaiser Gandapur died in the attack.

Imran Ismail, former governor Sindh, said that there was jungle’s law in Sindh.

Haleem Sheikh said: “Our worker was killed in public but police are siding with the killers”. There was law of jungle in Sindh as instead of serving justice to the family of the slain worker they had been pressured to leave the province, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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