KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Sunday continued their protests against ‘rigging’ in the Feb 8 general elections and vowed to continue their struggle to get back their ‘stolen’ constituencies in Karachi.
The parties this time staged separate protests demonstration a day after a joint protest was staged outside the Election Commission of Pakistan Sindh headquarters.
The JI chose to stage sit-ins at eight different key points of the city while the PTI continued its protest outside the ECP provincial headquarters.
The JI staged protests at Hasan Square, Water Pump, Star Gate, Quaidabad, UP Mor, Nazimabad No7, Korangi 2½ and Orangi Town No5.
The party leaders in their addresses vowed to continue their struggle and exercise every legal and constitutional option to regain their ‘stolen’ mandate.
The Karachi chief of JI Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman said that the JI’s and independent candidates secured majority of votes in all of the national and provincial assemblies constituencies of the city but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan was being imposed on Karachi by snatching the real mandate of the people of the metropolis.
Imran’s party stages sit-in outside office of Sindh election commissioner; JI protests in eight Karachi areas
“The ECP would have to explain what outcome it wants to achieve by violating the mandate of people time and again,” he said. “The entire exercise cost the national exchequer Rs48 billion. What is the purpose of such an expensive exercise if the ECP had to announce results at its own will?”
PTI activists told to stay calm
The PTI workers outside the ECP Sindh headquarters, carrying placards and party flags and chanting slogans, sought justice for the independent candidates, backed by the PTI, who were “deprived of victory despite being candidates of the most popular party of the city”.
The party Karachi chapter president, Khurram Sher Zaman, while addressing the workers asked them to stay calm and peaceful during their struggle for their constitutional rights.
“I appeal you to stay peaceful and don’t get provoked because there’s a conspiracy to put you against our law enforcement agencies and create a law and order situation,” he said.
“I assure you that your mandate isn’t going anywhere. You would regain that mandate. We would go to the courts and fight the legal battle. We have made our preparations and we are confident that we will win back each and every Karachi constituency.”
He said the ECP had announced that the Form-45 and Form-46 would be issued the same night, but it was not the case.
He said that the Form-45 and Form-46 were issued on Friday and they showed the worst kind of rigging.
“Don’t waste your energy and don’t misdirect your hard work. Just focus on legal battle and protest under the Constitutional right. We would emerge as victorious and your PTI would again become the single largest party of Karachi.”
He also referred to several ‘flaws’ in the official results announced by the ECP and said in one case the MQM bagged 5,000 votes on one Sindh Assembly seat, but in the connected National Assembly constituency, it was bestowed 88,000 votes.
“So I warn you that it’s a long battle we have to fight,” said Mr Zaman.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024