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Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday termed his party as the “biggest political power” in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) where they won big in the first phase of local government elections on Sunday, Aaj News reported.

According to unofficial results, JUI’s Fazlur Rehman-led faction has so far secured 20 out of the 64 Tehsils across the province. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is in power in KPK, followed behind with 15 seats.

The ruling party suffered a major setback in Peshawar where the JUI-F candidate Zubair Ali won the post of city mayor after securing 62,388 while PTI's Rizwan Bangash received 50,669 votes.

“I believe we are leading at the tehsil and union council level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's local government elections,” Fazl said while speaking to the media in Quetta, adding that “JUI-F was and is the biggest political power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

The JUI-F chief said that the time has proven that the last elections were rigged.

Major upset for PTI in Peshawar as JUI-F wins mayor seat

“Had the incumbent government not placed hurdles in JUI-F’s way, the results could have been much different,” he said.

Fazl said “some forces” were apprehensive about the JUI-F rising to the power as the party was inclined towards religion.

“They fear what will America and the West think,” he said, adding that the US and West had settled matters with the Afghan Taliban. “Why will we be unacceptable to them then?” he asked.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed that his party could run the country better than the incumbent government.

“We know how to run this country. We are honest and by God's grace, the JUI-F is the only party [in Pakistan] that has not been accused of corruption,” Fazl claimed.

To a question, Maulana, who is also the head of the opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), said preparations were underway for protests across the country against the government.

He said he would soon visit Karachi where he will meet other opposition leaders to discuss the strategy for the protest to be held by the PDM on March 23.

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