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ISLAMABAD: Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraz on Saturday said the Daska firing incident has proved that the PML-N believes in the 'politics of bullying, rigging, and violence.'

The PML-N's 'gangs' took polling stations hostage and tarnished the image of vote, he said.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) wanted transparency in the elections while the opposition wants continuity of politics of 'sale and purchase' and use of money.

The minister vowed that those responsible for the Daska incident would be brought to justice.

He expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives of the workers in the Daska firing incident. He prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the souls of the victims in eternal peace and give patience to their families.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar lashed out at the opposition, stating that the parties accept the results only when they win, and reject them, when they lose.

"The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)'s manifesto seems to be that only those results will be accepted where they are successful. Where they lose, they will start crying foul," he said.

"The PTI has won from NA-75," he said, urging the opposition to "have strength" and accept the public's decision.

Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain congratulated the PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi, on 'conquering the Daska battle' and demanded the ECP to announce the result immediately.

"The patience of PTI workers should not be tested," he said in a tweet.

"Respect will be for the law, not for PML-N."

In another tweet, Fawad said it is the "first time in Pakistan, an election has been held in which there is no government interference."

"[During] by-elections which were conducted by PPP and PML-N, people used to say that the elections are formal, the government will end up winning. Look at their attitude even now, elections are [termed as] fair where they win [but if] they lose they scream rigging."

NA-75 fell vacant after the demise of PML-N MNA Sahibazada Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah.

Nine candidates are in the race, and of them, the main candidates are PML-N's Nousheen Iftikhar Shah and PTI's Ali Asjad Malhi.

According to unofficial results, the PML-N managed to retain the seat.

Meanwhile, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz shared a video of the party's secretary general Ahsan Iqbal and deputy secretary general Ataullah Tarar, claiming that "preparations are being made to attempt to steal the PML-N's already won seat".

"I am present in Daska and it is around 3:45am. The PML-N candidate (Nousheen Iftikhar Shah) is winning. The returning officer has received results from 370 polling stations and seeing the win of the PML-N, the staff and record of 23 polling stations have been made to disappear," Iqbal said in the video.

"When we asked the returning officer, he said he too was helpless.

[The returning officer] has made full efforts but is unable to contact the staff and he does not know where they have disappeared. The results of these polling stations have now become suspicious."

Iqbal called on the ECP to separate the results from the 23 polling stations and to conduct a forensic audit of them.

He also asked for re-polling in those stations.

"They are holding the results [of this election] to save their dignity after losing. Whose custody [is the missing staff] in? Who has kidnapped them? The nation and we all want an answer," he said.

Contradicting the PML-N's claims and terming it a 'drama,' Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said Iqbal's video statement was a "clear indication of the PML-N's loss."

He said if re-polling was to be done, then it should also be done for the by-elections in constituencies of Wazirabad and Nowshera (Gujranwala PP-51 and Nowshera PK-63), which the PML-N has won, according to unofficial results.

"We too have objections on these [seats]," Gill said.

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood claimed that the PML-N leveled allegations of rigging wherever it lost.

"Wherever PML-N wins all is good, wherever it loses, election is rigged. Nowshera, N wins under PTI govt. Wazirabad, N wins, PTI govt. Not a squeak about rigging in both places. Daska, election is tight so shouts of rigging all over," he said in a tweet. "Those used to fraud cannot take defeat."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021