NAROWAL: The wife of independent candidate from Narowal and former minister, Daniyal Aziz, former MNA Mahnaz Akbar Aziz and her son were arrested by police in Zafarwal on charge of inciting violence on Friday.

Police arrested Mehnaz and her son, Mikaal Aziz, from outside the office of the returning officer (RO) of NA-75.

On the arrest of Mehnaz, the voters of Daniyal group held a protest outside the RO office and raised slogans against him.

Earlier, talking to the media, Mehnaz said the election results of NA-75 Narowal had been rigged. She alleged the presiding officers of 75 polling stations were missing for the several hours and torture cell was set up in the RO office to change the election results after Ahsan Iqbal lost election in PP-54 and his supported candidate in NA-75.

Former minister is already in police custody

She said on Feb 9 at 2AM, she went to RO office in Zafarwal and knocked on the door several times but she was not allowed entry. She said the compilation of NA-75 results was started at 3am and after a passage of 17 hours, the presiding officers of 75 polling stations were still missing. She said she had complained to the RO regarding the disappearance of presiding officers.

Mehnaz alleged that election results were being tampered with inside the RO’s office while she and her supporters were standing outside. She said Anwarul Haq Chaudhry, the PML-N candidate from NA-75 Narowal and Ahsan Iqbal from PP-54 Zafarwal had lost the election. She said Daniyal was being illegally detained for rigging the election. She said that more than 100 of their supporters had been arrested.

Narowal District Police Officer Rana Tahir Rehman Khan said Mehnaz was removed from the office on the complaint of the RO. He said police arrested Mehnaz because she was inciting her workers to resort to violence. He rejected the allegations of Mehnaz.

Several attempts were made to contact Mahnaz on her mobile phone regarding the arrest but no response was received.

Daniyal’s political ally, Muhammad Siddique Bhatti, addressed a protest in Zafarwal and condemned the arrest of Daniyal, his wife Mehnaz and son.

Bhatti said former MPA Owais Qasim from PP-54 had won by more than 6,200 votes against Ahsan Iqbal in the provincial assembly election but Ahsan declared successful with 2,100 votes lead after holding the results for 20 hours. In the national assembly, he claimed Daniyal had won by 50,000 votes and the result were changed by rigging.

ELECTION RESULT: Later in the day, Anwarul Haq Chaudhry of the PML-N was declared a winner in the election for NA-75, Narowal-I, by securing 99,625 votes.

According to the unofficial result issued by the returning officer/ECP, the runner-up was PTI-backed independent candidate, Tahir Ali Javed, who bagged 75,626 votes.

In NA-76, Ahsan Iqbal remained the winner while he bagged the provincial assembly seat (PP-54) in Zafarwal also.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2024

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