KARACHI: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) took to streets across the province and staged demonstrations, blocking the main highways connecting Sindh and Balochistan in protest over what it called ‘fraudulent’ elections.
In Karachi, a number of party workers converged on Hub River Road, blocking the key road link connecting with the main city. Maulana Abdul Sami Swati, a local JUI-F leader, said the Karachi sit-in was part of the Sindh-wide protest called by the party.
He claimed that the results were manipulated to favour the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and warned of continuing the protest for an indefinite period. He said the party had set a deadline for the ECP to accept their demands.
He demanded the issuance of Form 47 declaring JUI-F’s Mubeen Ahmed as the winner from Sukkur and other candidates from their respective constituencies in the districts of Larkana division.
UMERKOT: Activists of Umerkot chapter took out a rally, staged a protest demonstration and observed a sit-in, burning tyres against the alleged rigging in the general elections held on Feb 8 and called upon the ECP to take notice of it.
Jamaat, PTI also organise demonstrations
On the call of JUI-F Sindh secretary general Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, activists of Umerkot took out a rally from Thar bazar to Teen Talwar Chowk led by Maulana Noor Muhammad Qirani, Yaqoob Nomani and others. They were carrying flags of the JUI-F and placards inscribed with slogans.
Chanting slogans, they called upon the ECP to take notice of the alleged rigging. They complained that the mandate of the nation had been stolen in the darkness of night.
They said that if the caretaker government was unable to hold free, fair and transparent elections and was bent upon to get established the government of the selected, why the money of the nation had been spent to make a mockery of the polls.
The protest leaders said they rejected those elections in which favoritism and nepotism had been witnessed by the entire world. They called upon the authorities to announce the results as per Form 45, otherwise, the scope of the protest would be broadened and they would observe sit-ins in front of the concerned departments.
They also burnt tyres, resultantly vehicular traffic to Samaro, Kunri, Pithoro, Dhoronaro, Chhor Cantonment, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Karachi came to a halt for three hours.
NAWABSHAH: Likewise other parts of Sindh, JUI-F activists gathered on the National Highway at Sakrand, Qazi Ahmed, Moro-Dadu bypass and Naushahro Feroze on Sunday.
The protesters burnt tyres and blocked both tracks of the highway due to which a heavy traffic jam was witnessed for hours and commuters travelling to Karachi and upcountry remained stranded.
Addressing the protesters at the Sakrand bypass, JUI-F leader Moulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro said the whole election staff, including the district returning officers, were part of the planned and managed rigging to facilitate the Peoples Party.
He further said that the polling staff filled the ballot boxes with fake votes allover to get declared the PPP candidates as winners.
He claimed that if the finger prints were sent for forensics, all the PPP candidates, inclusive of its party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, would be defeated.
He said the protest was the first phase as they had not received any response from the concerned authorities on Saturday. In the next phase, they would hold demonstrations outside the deputy commissioners’ offices and taluka press clubs, and block the Sindh-Punjab border on the forthcoming Friday, he warned.
He threatened that if the justice was not done, they would surround the Sindh Assembly building and would not let anyone take oath.
Meanwhile, PTI-backed independent candidate for NA-207 (Nawabshah-I) Sardar Sher Mohammed Rind Baloch held a protest demonstration at the press club roundabout.
Addressing the workers and supporters, he said a historical rigging was committed in connivance with the DRO and all staff.
He further said he had defeated his rival Asif Ali Zardari at the majority of the polling stations, however, a massive rigging was done through a planned manipulation.
He announced to challenging the victory of Asif Ali Zardari in the election tribunal and high court.
SUKKUR: Workers of the JUI-F and their allies staged demonstrations and blocked the National Highway in protest against the alleged rigging in the election in Sukkur and Jacobabad.
Party workers blocked a section of the National Highway at Babarloi bypass and observed a sit-in, raising charged slogans against rigging in the elections.
On the occasion, Maulana Muhammad Saleh Indhar, Mufti Saud Afzal Halejvi, Ghulam Muhammad Kandhar, Maulana Abdul Karim Abbasi and others said that their mandate had been stolen in the rigged elections.
They said the presiding officers did not give Form 45 and their agents were pushed out of the polling stations in order produce the results against the JUI-F candidates.
JACOBABAD: Local leaders and workers staged a demonstration here at the Mehar Shah turning.
The enraged workers set old tyres on fire and blocked a section of the Indus Highway connecting Sindh-Balochistan.
JUI-F district president A.G. Ansari and Maleha Soomro, Mian Muhammad Soomro’s sister, and others told the journalists that during the election in Jacobabad, ballot papers were fraudulently stamped in favour of the PPP candidates.
Protest by JI, PTI in Hyderabad, Sukkur
HYDERABAD: Activists of the Jamaat-i-Islami and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) staged a joint protest sit-in outside the local press club on Sunday to condemn the alleged rigging in the Feb 8 polls in Hyderabad.
They said it was a ‘black chapter’ written in the history of Pakistan.
The candidates nominated by the JI and PTI for the polls addressed the protesters. JI deputy emir Dr Mairajul Huda Siddiqui, district emir Aqeel Ahmed Khan, Hafiz Tahir Majeed, Abdul Waheed Qureshi and others told the protesters that it was in fact ‘the blackest chapter’ written in the history on Feb 8.
Dr Mairaj said that the trend of robbing people of their vote must end now and added that democracy was murdered on the election day. He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had become a farce and added that the murder of the mandate in 1970 had led to dismemberment of the country. He said the JI was committed to get the otherwise winners their right and added that people’s mandate was insulted on Feb 8.
He observed that people left their homes to express their will despite ‘rigging’. He said the PTI-backed independent candidates had won the elections, but forms 47 were changed to declare someone else as victorious. He said that polling stations were occupied by goons while the administration remained a silent spectator.
Hafiz Tahir Majeed, JI’s candidate for NA-220, alleged that the results were changed. He said protests were being staged for the last 48 hours in the country. He said Nawaz Sharif had returned to Pakistan only for loot and plunder.
PTI-backed candidate, runner up on NA-220, PTI divisional president Faisal Mughal said that family members of the PTI candidates were being harassed. He said that as Hyderabad District Bar leader he announced suspension of high court’s work in protest as people’s right was snatched during the Feb 8 polls.
Dr Mustansir Billa, PTI’s losing candidate on NA-219, said that those who had orchestrated the May 9 violent incidents made them lose elections. However, he said, the PTI tigers had turned the elections into a referendum.
He said Imran Khan was the only leader of the PTI. He stated that Khan even in the imprisonment had proved that everyone wrong; he was right.
SUKKUR: JI workers staged protests on Saeed Sarhandi Road in Sukkur against the alleged rigging in the elections and raised charged slogans.
Talking to the media persons, Hizbullah Jakhro, Zubair Hafeez Shiakh, and others said that people’s mandates had been disrespected during the elections 2024 across Pakistan.
They alleged that the authorities did not want to hold elections that was why they suspended the mobile phone service.
They added that despite such hurdles, people came out of their homes and polled their votes.
They alleged that with a record rigging, the results had been changed in favour of the Nawaz League, Pakistan Peoples and MQM-P.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024