Gandapur says no to revenge politics as PTI protests poll ‘rigging’

Published February 18, 2024
PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur holds the picture of former prime minister Imran Khan while addressing a protest rally in Peshawar on Saturday. — White Star
PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur holds the picture of former prime minister Imran Khan while addressing a protest rally in Peshawar on Saturday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: As the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Saturday staged rallies across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the alleged election rigging, its nominee for the chief minister’s office, Ali Amin Gandapur, said his party, after forming the next government in the province with the help of its loyalist MPAs, won’t play the politics of revenge and would rather “reform” institutions.

“Our [PTI’s] aim will be to reform institutions, which are responsible for our witch hunt, for the bright future of our children. Those opposed to reforms will be punished as per the law,” he told a rally against poll “rigging” in the provincial capital’s Gulistan Park on the Ring Road.

It was his first public meeting since nomination for the CM’s office last week.

Holding a picture of PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan, Mr Gandapur said the PTI would form the next government in KP to provide women with all legal and constitutional rights.

Tehreek-i-Insaf nominee for CM slot promises to ‘reform institutions responsible for party’s witch hunt’

He demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce election results as shown by Form 45 (vote count) to enable those with people’s mandate to rule the country.

The PTI leader said the people’s lives could be improved by their elected government only.

He announced that after forming the government in the province, his party would revive the Social Health Protection Initiative (Sehat Card) to provide people with free healthcare.

“We [PTI government] will protect the people’s constitutional rights, including their mandate given in elections,” he said.

Mr Gandapur urged the ECP, judiciary and other state institutions to mend their ways and “reform” themselves for the sake of the country’s development.

He said the last two years witnessed massive job cuts, business closures, and poor law and order.

Mr Ali said the main challenges for his government would be maintaining the law and order situation, offering youths job opportunities, addressing health issues, and providing quality education to people.

He urged the PTI workers to stay loyal to the party defying odds.

Protest rallies by the PTI were also reported in Dir, Lakki, Shangla, Kohat, Mohmand, Charsadda, Swat, Malakand and other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with party activists and newly-elected lawmakers showing up in large numbers.

The PTI workers protested election “rigging” in Lower Dir’s Chakdara, Timergara, Maidan, Khall and Munda areas.

In a Timergara rally, the speakers, including PTI district general secretary Ghulam Hussain and tehsil council chairman Fairoz Shah, claimed that the party actually won over 170 National Assembly seats in the country in Feb 8 elections but it lost many of them due to nighttime poll rigging by the returning officers and district returning officers.

They said protest rallies would continue until the people’s mandate was returned to the PTI. The protesters dispersed peacefully afterwards.

PTI activists blocked the Karakoram Highway in Shangla district.

The major rally was held in Bisham Chowk with NA-11 candidate Said Fareen Khan and PTI district president Liaquat Ali Yousafzai leading it.

PTI senior leaders Said Fareen, Ziaul Haq, Ikram Shah and others addressed the rally, while protesters shouted slogans against the district administration, ECP and caretaker government blaming poll rigging on them.

Mr Fareen said the count of votes polled for him was changed on the night of election day.

“According to Form 45, I won the NA-11 seat with a lead of 6,000 votes but the DRO changed election results in Form 47 and didn’t even allow me to enter his office afterwards,” he claimed.

Rallies were also staged in Chakisar tehsil with PTI leaders Jawad Ali Noor, Haji Luqman and Akhtar Ali Chattan leading them amid sloganeering.

Kohat witnessed large rallies by PTI workers and lawmakers-elect.

MPAs-elect Aftab Iqbal and Shaifiullah Jan led a rally and flayed the “change” of election results by returning officers.

They said PTI-backed candidates and office-bearers were kidnapped andtortured, and stopped from holding election rallies, while their family members were harassed.

Demonstrations were also held in Mian Mandi Bazaar of Mohmand tribal district. The protesters blocked the Peshawar-Bajaur Highway for an hour.

PTI leaders Naveed Ahmad Mohmand,Amirullah Junidi, Jehan Zeb Khan, Mohammad Islam and Fakhri Alam alleged election rigging and demanded the PTI be allowed to form the next governments.

The protesters carried PTI’s flags and shouted slogans against the ECP and PML-N.

Rallies were held across Hazara Division, including Mansehra, Torghar and Kohistan districts, with participating demanding of the ECP to announce election results in accordance with Form 45.

The protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway in Doraha area here and shouted slogans for PTI founder Imran Khan and demanded his immediate release.

Naurang town of Lakki Marwat reported PTI protests against election “rigging” insisting the people’s mandate for their party to rule the country was stolen.

In Bannu, protesters ended their sit-ins on four points and converged on the Miramshah Road to demonstrate.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2024



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