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ISLAMABAD: The supporters and independent candidates backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday staged protest demonstrations in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad against alleged rigging in the February 8 general elections.

In Rawalpindi, the PTI workers protested outside the district election commissioner’s office in Sadiqabad. The police personnel present on the occasion used tear gas and charged batons to disperse the protesters.

The independent candidate from NA-47 Islamabad Shoaib Shaheen led a protest outside the RO office of NA-47 Islamabad against alleged rigging in the constituency’s poll results.

After a meeting with the capital’s RO and DRO, Shaheen was assured by the DRO regarding transparency in poll results.

Shaheen claimed that it was a broad daylight robbery as he was leading with thousands of votes on Thursday but the results were changed through massive rigging the Friday morning, which is not acceptable.

PTI leader Babar Awan rejected the poll results and termed the February 8 elections the most controversial in history of the country

Talking to the media outside the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said that the party was challenging the results in Sargodha and Faisalabad constituencies, as

“our candidates” emerged victorious.

“Nawaz Sharif is persistently trying to win since February 9. Despite winning a significant majority, we do not accept the election results.” He added that “Australia, America, and Britain have also rejected the results”.

The Islamabad Capital Territory Police had warned of action against any individuals or groups targeting state institutions, saying Section 144 has been imposed in the federal capital.

The imposition of Section 144 comes after the PTI announced a countrywide protest against alleged rigging. However, the PTI workers gathered outside the RO office in Islamabad and held a peaceful protest.

The spokesperson for the force said that peaceful protest is the right of citizens under the Constitution and all must obey the law. He urged the people to avoid illegal activities, adding that maintaining law and order was the force’s top priority.

Meanwhile, in a message on X, PTI secretary general Omar Ayub claimed that Form 47s of 18 National Assembly seats have been changed by returning officers and added that the seats were won by PTI backed independent candidates.

“The people of Karachi had rejected MQM but the ‘Bhatta’ culture will soon start once again,” he said, adding “anarchy of MQM was being reintroduced to Karachi”.

Meanwhile, PTI spokesman Raoof Hasan demanded immediate resignation of Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, alleging that he has completely failed to ensure free and fair elections.

He said that some quarters, through massive rigging, are bent upon imposing ‘another PDM’ on people, which the people, through their vote had already rejected, adding the PTI which has been given the mandate by the people has the constitutional and democratic right to form governments in centre, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“PTI is only party which was given full mandate by the people in all the four provinces. The clique of thieves was completely rejected by the people in Feb 8 elections,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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