MANSEHRA: The returning officer for NA-14 on Sunday issued Form 49, declaring Sardar Mohammad Yusuf the winner, making him the only Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz nominee to have clinched a National Assembly seat in the Hazara division.

However, RO for NA-15 withheld the victory notification of PTI-backed independent candidate Shahzada Gustasap Khan.

RO NA-14, Mansehra-I, Babar Khan Tanoli notified that PML-N’s Sardar Yusuf had polled 115,442 votes, while his rival and PTI-backed independent Saleem Imran Swati secured 103,350 votes.

Mr Yusuf is the only PML-N winner for a National Assembly constituency in the division as the rest of the five seats have been clinched by independents backed by PTI in the Feb 8 elections.

Victory notification of PTI-backed Gustasap on NA-15 withheld

Talking to reporters after he was declared winner, Mr Yusuf said: “Though my rivals made all-out efforts to hand me a defeat, I succeeded in recapturing the constituency, which my son Sardar Shahjehan Yusuf lost owing to rigging in the 2018 general elections.”

Meanwhile, RO for NA-15, Mansehra-II, Hajrah Samee withheld Form 49 of PTI-backed aspirant Shahzada Gustasap after the PML-N challenged his Form 47 in the Election Commission of Pakistan.

“The ECP has withheld results of Mr Gustasap, and so Ms Samee couldn’t notify him as successful,” an official told reporters.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who contested NA-15, through his counsel Jehangir Khan Jadoon Advocate, moved a petition with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja pleading him to withhold results of NA-15 to meet justice and for fair and free elections.

In a related development, PTI workers poured onto the streets on Sunday demanding the issuance of election results in accordance with Form 45.

The workers led by party leaders assembled outside the district returning officer’s office after marching through the Abbottabad Road and Kashmir roads.

Holding banners and placards they raised slogans in support of their party’s founding chairman Imran Khan.

“The results contrary to the public mandate are being issued by the returning officers, which we won’t accept and challenge them in court,” MPA-elect Babar Saleem Swati said.

Mr Swati, who is PTI divisional president, said results of Shahzada Gustasap, who defeated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif with a margin of over 25,000 votes, were being withheld without lawful authority.

Speaking on the occasion, Shahzada Gustasap said nobody could change his results at any cost. “I have won these elections by a big margin and the returning officer concerned also issued Form 47 of my success, but how PML-N could change my results,” he said.

PTI leader Saleem Imran Swati said the Feb 8 elections were in fact a referendum and people showed their support to Imran Khan.

TRADERS THREATEN STRIKE: The Oghi traders on Sunday threatened to observe a shutter down strike if Peshawar Electric Supply Company didn’t bring to an end the prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding.

“The business community has already suffered the brunt of highest-ever inflation, and current prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding has added to their misery,” Waqar Ahmad, a traders’ leader, told reporters.

He said Pesco was frequently suspending power supply in the city and its suburbs, adversely affecting commercial activities.

He said if prolonged power outages were not brought to an end they won’t be able to provide two times meal to their children.

Mr Ahmad said if Pesco didn’t mend its ways traders wouldn’t only observe a complete shutter down strike, but they would also come onto the roads.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024

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