Pak's Jamaat-i-Islami party candidate forfeits seat in Sindh; says Imran Khan's party-backed candidate actual winner

Hafiz Naeemur Rehman addressing a press conference on Monday.
Hafiz Naeemur Rehman addressing a press conference on Monday.

Karachi | In an unusual move, a senior leader of Pakistan's Jamaat-i-Islami Party on Monday forfeited his seat in the Sindh province that he won in Thursday's elections, saying it was not him but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party-backed candidate who has won from the constituency he contested.

According to the provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan for the February 8 general elections, Naeem won from the PS-129 constituency (Karachi Central VIII) with 26,296 votes.

Addressing a press conference, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that he took the unusual step to highlight the alleged rigging in many constituencies during the February 8 polls.

“A PTI-backed independent candidate has won and I will not avail this seat,” he said.

"When I estimated that there was a difference of a few hundred votes, I asked my team for each and every Form [45]. When we checked, we found out that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had shown fewer votes for us but as I did not succeed, I forfeit this seat,” he said.

He went on to claim that jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)-backed independent candidate Saif Bari had won according to his team’s calculations, stating that his votes were “reduced to 11,000 from 31,000”.

In a separate post on social media platform X, he said, “Therefore, according to my conscience and the moral traditions of my party, I vacate my provincial assembly seat and demand that all seats we won be returned to us.”

The decision of Rehman, who is the chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami party's Karachi unit, came on the heels of the two days of protests, some of them violent, being carried out by different parties in several parts of Sindh province over the alleged rigging in the polls.

Since the General Elections on February 8, the PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TL), and Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) have been claiming their candidates were robbed of their wins in many National Assembly and provincial constituencies and they don’t accept these results.

The fact that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement has ended up with 17 of the 22 National Assembly seats from Karachi and several provincial assembly seats has only angered the protesting parties.

The PTI, JI, TL, and JUI have been leading the protests and on Monday workers of these parties blocked the highways leading into the city.

Heavy contingents of the police and rangers were called in to clear the roads as the traffic got disrupted.

In some cases where protesters have tried to march towards the ECP’s provincial office in the Saddar area. Heavy contingents of police have used tear gas shells, water canons, and even batons to charge the heavy crowds to disperse them.

The police have also carried out arrests of some workers who were later released.

The protests began one day after the provisional election results started being announced by the ECP.

Since the provincial results started coming out the courts have been flooded with legal petitions and several candidates have challenged the provisional results in their constituencies in a bid to win the seat.

According to the details, the PTI-backed independents have filed the highest number of petitions in the courts against the results.

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