BAJAUR: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers on Sunday ended their three-day-long protest sit-in against the alleged manipulation of the election results of the party-backed candidates for two provincial assembly seats here after the PTI leadership decided to challenge the respective returning officers’ decision in court.

An announcement to this effect was made by PTI provincial vice-president Anwarzeb Khan at a news conference.

“We are going to end the protest sit-in against the unlawful and shameful act of change of results of our candidates by the ROs for PK-20 and PK-21 as the party’s central leadership has decided to challenge it in court,” said Mr Zeb, who was contesting PK-20 seat.

Accompanied by a group of party activists, including PTI Bajaur president Gul Zafar Khan, Gul Dad Khan, Mambar Khan and Jawad Iqbal, Mr Zeb said the protesters, also backed by other political parties, were committed to continuing the sit-in till the PTI-backed candidates were declared winner. However, he said the sit-in ended on the advice of PTI chairman Gohar Ali Khan, who telephoned Gul Zafar Khan on Sunday afternoon, requesting him to end the agitation.

JI leader asks independents to accept defeat with open heart

Anwarzeb, who was the minister in the last PTI government in the province, said they were going to challenge the change in results of both the constituencies in the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Peshawar High Court on Monday (today).

He said the party was not ready to accept the ‘daylight robbery’ on the people’s mandate. He said he was optimistic the court would decide the matter on merit. He said PTI candidates were the winners according to Form 45 of both the constituencies issued to the candidates’ polling agents by the polling staff.

He said the party leadership was grateful to the leaders and workers of other political parties for extending their full support to them during the protest sit-in.

Meanwhile, a group of PTI activists and polling agents for PK-20 and PK-22 claimed the Form 47, in which the Jamaat-i-Islami candidates – Maulana Waheed Gul and Sardar Khan – were declared as returned were fake and bogus.

Addressing a news conference at the Bajaur Press Club, PTI activists and polling agents led by Bajaur chapter vice-president Sikandarzeb Khan insisted the member of votes mentioned in Form 47 contradicted the number mentioned in Form 45.

Moreover, Mr Sikandarzeb pointed out that the Form 47 didn’t mention the names of the relevant returning officers.

Meanwhile, JI leadership on Sunday urged the PTI-backed independents to accept their defeat in PK-20 and PK-21 by showing sportsman spirit.

“We request the PTI candidates to accept their defeat in both the constituencies as winning and losing is a part of the elections,” Sahibzada Haroon Rasheed, JI Bajaur chief, said while talking to reporters in Khar.

Mr Rasheed said the JI candidates had won the seats on people’s support as the party was the ‘most popular’ in Bajaur.

Mr Rasheed said JI was a democratic party and believed in people’s mandate.

He also criticised the leadership and workers of other political parties for supporting the PTI protest sit-in against the election results.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024

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