Imran stuns rivals, grabs six NA seats

Published October 17, 2022
<p>PESHAWAR: A voter speaks to the election officials before casting her vote during the by-election in the NA-31 constituency on Sunday.—APP</p>

PESHAWAR: A voter speaks to the election officials before casting her vote during the by-election in the NA-31 constituency on Sunday.—APP

• PPP emerges victorious in Karachi, Multan
• One PA seat goes to PML-N, two to PTI

KARACHI / PESHAWAR / LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: Though Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf managed to secure six out of eight National Assembly seats in the crucial by-election on Sunday, the victory might have brought bittersweet moments for the party as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) managed to clinch two — NA-157 Multan and NA-237 Karachi — which were bagged by the PTI in the 2018 general elections.

Initial results show that other major parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) and the Awami National Party (ANP), could not manage to grab even a single NA seat as Imran Khan — the PTI’s candidate on seven seats — emerged victorious against his rivals in six constituencies.

However, PML-N managed to win one Punjab Assembly seat out of the three as the rest went to PTI.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran Khan managed to upstage both JUI-F and ANP. ANP provincial chief Aimal Wali Khan and senior leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour were defeated by the PTI chief by a margin of over 10,000 and over 25,000 votes in Charsadda (NA-24) and Peshawar (NA-31), respectively.

The PTI chief won NA-24 Charsadda seat securing 78,589 votes against Aimal Wali Khan’s 68,356 votes while in NA-31, Imran Khan secured 57,814 against Mr Bilour’s 32,252 votes. Mr Bilour, however, refused to accept the result and vowed to challenge the decision in the Election Commission of Pakistan and courts. In Peshawar, the turnout was recorded at 20.28 per cent.

Similarly, the JUI-F’s Maulana Qasim also failed to grab the NA-22 seat, according to the ECP’s Result Management System (RMS). The PTI chairman got 76,681 votes while the JUI-F’s nominee got 68,181 votes, the ECP said, adding that the voter turnout was 32.9pc in Mardan.

In Karachi, PPP won the Malir constituency (NA-237), with its candidate Abdul Hakim Baloch securing 32,567 against Imran Khan’s 22,493.

In Korangi (NA-239, Karachi), Imran Khan received 50,014 votes and emerged victorious while Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM-P) candidate Syed Nayyer Raza obtained 18,116 votes.

In Faisalabad (NA-108), Imran Khan won after securing 99,841 votes against PML-N leader Abid Sher Ali, who got 75,266 votes. Mr Khan also won Nankana Sahib (NA-118 ) after getting 90,180 votes against PML-N nominee Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal, who got 78,024 votes.

In Multan (NA-157), former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son Ali Musa Gillani managed to defeat Meher Bano, daughter of former foreign minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and grabbed the seat for the PPP with a wide margin. Moosa Gillani secured 107,327 votes while Meher Bano Qureshi got 82,141. This was the only NA seat where Imran Khan did not contest the by-poll.

Only one seat for PML-N

The PML-N did not fare well on National and provincial assembly seats. Out of three PA seats, it managed to clinch just one while the other two went to the PTI. According to the official results issued by ECP, PML-N’s Iftikhar Ahmad Bhangoo won PP-139 Sheikhupura seat after getting 40,829 votes against PTI nominee Muhammad Abu Bakar’s 37,712 votes.

In Khanewal (PP-209), PTI’s Faisal Khan Niazi won after securing 71,156 votes against PML-N’s Chaudhry Ziaur Rehman who got 57,630 votes only. In Bahawalnagar (PP-241), PTI nominee Malik Muzzaffar Khan got 59,957 against PML-N candidate Amanullah Sattar’s 48,147.

Violence and Security

Amid a large presence of law enforcers and the police to prevent any untoward incident, the election day remained largely peaceful except for a few clashes among the supporters of political parties. However, security personnel managed to control the violence and also made a few arrests.

In Karachi, a clash between the supporters of PTI and PPP and an attack on the election camp left PTI MPA Bilal Ghaffar injured. The injured MPA was rushed to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC). “[The] medico-legal examination suggested multiple injuries on face, head, neck, left shoulder and hands,” said police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed about the MPA’s condition.

In Khanewal, the polling was stopped for some time as the workers of PML-N and PTI clashed outside the polling station. Punjab ECP Spokesperson Huda Ali Gohar said security personnel controlled the situation timely and the voting continued without interruption.

In Sheikhupura, three people were arrested for violating ECP’s code of conduct in the provincial constituency, PP-139. District Police Officer Faisal Mukhtar said arrests were made after the recovery of arms.

In Faisalabad, polling was stopped after male polling agents entered the women’s polling station, prompting the presiding officer to summon Rangers who controlled the situation.

Furthermore, the polling process was suspended at Sardarpur polling station in NA-157 due to a clash between PTI and PPP workers over allegations of rigging. However, polling was resumed after security officials arrested the “troublemakers”.

In Peshawar, workers of PTI and ANP clashed at a polling station in the provincial capital. As a result, one was injured while the other two were taken into custody.

Rigging allegations

The PTI leaders accused the ECP of rigging, a claim rejected by the election watchdog. In Faisalabad, PTI leader Farrukh Habib levelled allegations of differences in the voters’ list available with the presiding officer and those provided to the candidates. He said presiding officer’s list did not include the names of their voters and a list with complete names was provided after the party workers protested against the ECP officials.

ECP spokesperson responding to Habib’s accusations, said the election in the respective constituency was delayed due to insufficient security. “Voter lists are compiled under a transparent and error-free process,” the spokesperson said.

The ECP also rejected the remarks made by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Omar Ayub, Farrukh Habib and others as “completely baseless and misleading and have no relation to reality”.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2022

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