LARKANA: Protest demonstrations and rallies were held in almost all district headquarters as well as smaller cities and towns of the interior of Sindh on Tuesday against, what is alleged by all opposition parties, “blatant massive rigging” in the February 8 general elections.

The protests were oranised and led by leaders of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Sindh United Party, National Peoples Party (NPP) and other allied parties.

Speaking to participants at different rallies, the leaders strongly condemned the alleged rigging to “thrust plunderers of national wealth rejected by the masses upon the people of Pakistan”. They also condemned violent police action against participants of a recent demonstration outside the Sindh Assembly building in Karachi.

Most of the speakers at the appeared to be the candidates who had won their National Assembly or Sindh Assembly seats as per the form 45 with a big margin but declared losers in the belatedly released form 47.

In Larkana city, the JUI-F and JI took out a joint rally from Fish Market to the local press club where Maulana Mohammed Ilyas Channa, Raja Shaikh and Dr Mazhar Mughal addressed the participants, who were raising slogans and displaying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against “dacoity on public mandate”.

They deplored that the Feb 8 elections in Sindh were stolen by the Pakistan Peoples Party by using state machinery and funds.

They condemned baton charge and teargas shelling on peaceful protesters in Karachi. Even women protesters were dragged, beaten up and stuffed in police vans during a crackdown on the protesters, they deplored.

The speakers criticised 15-year rule of PPP in Sindh, and said corruption had crept into all departments and citizens’ rights were snatched away. They demanded release of all those arrested during the protests against “massively rigged elections. Otherwise, a province-wide shutterdown strike call would be given, they warned.

SUP’s Larkana leadership also organised a rally which was taken out from the State Life Insurance road and passed through various roads and streets. Addressing the protesters, SUP leaders told the participants and the media that they rejected the Feb 8 election results that were blatantly changed in favour of defeated leadership and other candidates of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and PPP.

An impressive rally was organised jointly by JUI-F and GDA leaders from the Arror area covering various roads and streets of Rohri to condemn alleged theft of public mandate across the country and police excess against opposition supporters in Karachi.

Maulana Mohammad Saleh Indhar, Faqeer Inayat Buriro, Mufti Saud Afzal Halejvi, Faqeer Kamal, Arbaz Abbasi, Hafiz Abdul Hameed Mahar, Qari Liaquat Ali Mughal and others addressed the protesters.

They said they had taken out the rally and observed a ‘black day’ against the massive rigging and excesses on peaceful protesters in Karachi.

They demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan hold fresh general elections.

In Jacobabad, a procession against “changed election results” was taken out from the district office. The participants held a demonstration and sit-in outside the local press club.

The protest was led by Dr A.G. Ansari, Maula Bakhsh Khoso, Sardar Bakhsh Mangrio, Faqeer Abdul Rasool, Maulana Abdul Jabbar Rind and others.

Similar protests were held in different cities and towns of Shaheed Banazirabad, Naushahro Feroze and Sanghar districts. GDA, JUI-F, PML-F and SUP leaders, workers and supporters marched through the streets of Nawabshah after setting off from Sakrand road and before assembling outside the city’s press club to hold a noisy demonstration. JI leaders and activists also joined in the protesters, who were carrying banners and placards as well as flags of GDA and their respective parties.

Addressing the participants, Zakir Hussain Jamali of JUI-F, Gul Hasan Rind of SUP, Ghulam Mustafa Jamali of PML-F, Suroor Ahmed Qureshi of (JI), Comrade Ali Jan Rind of the National Peoples Party and other leaders condemned the alleged massive rigging in the Feb 8 general elections.

GDA and allied parties also held rallies in Naushahro Feroze city and Moro town. Speaking to protesters, Khan Soomro, Qayoom Memon, Aslam Korejo, Fakeer Ghulam Jaan Dahiri, Maulana Abdul Rehman Dangraj, Irshad Saand and others condemned the police action against GDA protesters in Karachi and implication of NPP Chairman Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi and other activists in false terrorism cases.

Other towns were such rallies were taken out included Sanghar, Shahpur Chakar and Khipro. Tariq Leghari, Maulvi Mohammed Hassan, Maulvi Ameer Bux Marri and others spoke to the participants outside Sanghar Press Club.

They expressed their outrage over police action in which, they claimed, JUI-F leader Rashid Mehmood Soomro, who had defeated PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari but was declared loser, was also injured along with other protesters.

In Dadu, a large number of GDA activists held a protest rally and marched through various roads before holding a demonstration outside the local press club. They were led by Sardar Ashiq Ali Zounr and Mumtaz Ali Zounr. The leaders called for fresh elections claiming that rigging on a large scale had been committed in all those constituencies where PML-N and its PDM allies, as well as PPP were facing a humiliating defeat as per the counting till midnight after polling on Feb 8. A fresh and fair election would be in the later interest of the country and nation, they said.

Meanwhile, the protesters blocked Indus Highway at railway crossing in Dadu to disrupt flow of vehicular traffic to various towns. They were led by local GDA leaders Ijaz Soomro, Maqsood Jjatial, Khalid Lashari and Sultan Ahmed Mangi.

In Badin, GDA, PTI, JI, JUI-F and SUP supporters observed a ‘black day’ against poll rigging and held a protest demonstration in front of the local press club. They were led by Syed Mardan Ali Shah, Ghulam Rasool Memon, Mohammad Ismail Khaskeli, Ameer Azad Panhwar. The protesters were wearing black armbands and raising slogans against caretaker government. Election commission and police.

Speaking to the media, they alleged that Most DROs and ROs changed the results after accepting offers of millions of rupees for the same.

In Matli also, a large number of JUI-F workers led by Maulana Gul Hassan Zounr and others, held a rally from Qasmia Madressah to the local press club.

In Umerkot, a rally against alleged rigging was taken out from Jinnah Park to the local press club. It was led by a PS-50 candidate, Faqir Ghulam Nabi Mangrio and a PS-49 candidate Khizer Hayat Mangrio. The protesters also observed a sit-in at Allahwala Chowk against “rigged elections and changed results”.

Addressing the protesters, they condemned that once again electorates were insulted on Feb 8 powers were given to those “who had been looting Sindh for 15 years and, therefore, rejected by the masses”.

A large number of GDA, PTI, JI, JUI-F and SUP activists took part in the rally.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

WHILE Pakistan has watched many perish in the cauldron of sacrilege, the state has done little to turn down the...
Persistent scourge
28 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...
Mercury rising
Updated 27 May, 2024

Mercury rising

Each of the country's leaders is equally responsible for the deep pit Pakistan seems to have fallen into.
Antibiotic overuse
27 May, 2024

Antibiotic overuse

ANTIMICROBIAL resistance is an escalating crisis claiming some 700,000 lives annually in Pakistan. It is the third...
World Cup team
27 May, 2024

World Cup team

PAKISTAN waited until the very end to name their T20 World Cup squad. Even then, there was last-minute drama. Four...