KARACHI: The PPP has retained the provincial assembly seats in Karachi and Sanghar that were contested in Tuesday’s by-election. Likewise, another leader of the opposition PDM candidate, Syed Azizullah Agha, has won the PB-20 Pishin by-election, Balochistan, according to unofficial results.
According to unofficial results announced by the KPU, PPP Yousaf Baloch from PS-88 Malir, Karachi, and PPP Jam Shabeer Ali from PS-43, Sanghar, each won a by-poll.
As of 12 a.m., vote counting was still underway and sources put different numbers for competitors from Malir’s poll. According to one source group, PPP Yousaf Baloch got 22,000, with PTI’s Syed Kashif Ali behind with 5,000 votes, TLP with 4,000 and MQM managing nearly 2,000 votes.
In Malir, Karachi, polls were marred by incidents of violence, while Sindh Assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh was arrested for violating an order by the General Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during the voting process, sparking outrage among the federal government’s leading parties.
At least 16 independent candidates also competed in the poll, apart from PPP Muhammad Yousuf Baloch, Jansher Junejo from PTI, Sajid Ahmed from MQM-Pakistan, and Syed Kashif Ali from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan. The PS-88 was empty in June 2020 following the death of provincial minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch due to the new coronavirus.
The situation remains tense in places that fell in PS-88, Malir, Karachi, where violent incidents were reported for which the PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf blamed each other. Voting started at 8 a.m. and continued until 5 p.m. under strict security measures. However, following several violent incidents, the key PTI leader and Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, was arrested by police for violating orders from the General Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the middle of the voting process.
Sindh governor Imran Ismail strongly condemned the Shaykh’s arrest. “He is the leader of the opposition and is treated like a criminal. Is participating in the elections in Sindh a crime? “he tweeted on Tuesday.
A video statement of the Sheikh was released following his arrest; He said he had been informed of his arrest by SSP Malir. “As Leader of the Opposition, I should have been given security but that was withdrawn at the behest of Zardari and Bilawal,” claims Sheikh. PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh claimed he was not present in the constituency when his workers were attacked. “When I got there, I was also attacked,” he said, adding that his bodyguards used aerial fire to disperse the attackers.
Expressing their anger over the Sheikh’s arrest, a group of federal ministers, MNA PTI and MPA staged a sit-in outside the Chief Minister’s House of Sindh. Federal Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi and lawmakers Faisal Vawda, Alamgir Khan, Aamir Liaquat and MPA Khuram Sherzaman, Jamal Siddiqui and several others from Karachi participated in the sit-in that lasted more than three hours. They raised slogans against the Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and the Sindh government and called the Sheikh’s arrest part of the PPP policy to sacrifice his opponents. Then, announcing an end to the sit-in, Zaidi said that party leaders would work out a strategy on Wednesday. “Without permission from the chairman of the Sindh Assembly, how can the police arrest the opposition leader?” Asked Zaidi. He accused PPP of destroying the city’s peace.
In a previous press conference, the head of PTI Karachi, Khurram Sherzaman, said that the media had shown how the elections in PS-88 were manipulated thus revealing the true face of PPP. Condemning the Sheikh’s arrest, Sherzaman said that PPP attempted to intimidate opponents through fake FIR and bullying and rigged PS-88 by-polls via SSP and SHO. “PPP workers rigged rural polling stations, harassed female PTI workers and took party polling agents hostage. When the rigging started in the countryside, we went there to take care of our workers, ”he claims. PTI PS-88 candidate Janshir Junejo and other leaders accompanied him during the press conference. He said the education office employees were voting agents in the constituencies.
The Qaumi-Pakistan Muttahida Movement has also accused the party of receiving fraud complaints from various polling stations. “It’s a shame and the ECP should pay attention to it,” said Faisal Sabzwari, a MQM-P center leader, while speaking to the media. We’ve seen videos where ballot papers are being stamped. Expressing concern over the Sheikh’s arrest, Sabzwari said it was understandable why the opposition leader was arrested in the old case.
TLP president Karachi Allama Hussaini Rizvi claimed that with the support of the police, the PPP broke all records of fraud in the polls.
In the 2018 general election, PPP’s Murtaza Baloch won the seat by gaining 22,561 votes against the 16,386 runner-up, Captain (retired) Muhammad Rizwan Khan, who was a PTI candidate.
Our correspondent adds from Sukkur: PPP candidate for PS-43, Sanghar, Jam Shabeer Ali won the poll by a large margin against GDA candidate Mushtaq Junejo. According to unofficial results announced by the General Election Commission, the PPP candidate from Sanghar Jam Shabeer Ali won the by-election by securing 48,032 votes against Mushtaq Junejo, an ally of the PTI GDA, who received only 6,922 votes.
Reacting to his defeat, Mushtaq Junejo accused his rival of being fully supported by the Sindh government of using the state machine in the opinion polls. In contrast, Jam Shabeer Ali dismissed the allegations of fraud and said voters had once again given up their faith in the PPP.
In the 2018 election, PPP candidate Jam Madad Ali secured the provincial assembly seats by securing 44,737 votes against GDA candidate Jam Zulfiqar, who received 28,488 votes. The seat was vacant after the death of Jam Madad Ali of the PPP.
The News Desk added: Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (F) candidate, Syed Azizullah Agha, won PB-20 Pishin’s by-election, according to unofficial results. JUI-F is part of the opposition PDM group. Agha, which has the support of the PDM alliance, received 8,742 votes, beating out Asmat Tareen of the Balochistan Awami Party, who managed to gather 4,876 votes. During the voting, clashes were reported between supporters of the two sides. However, the deputy local commissioner claimed that the voting was carried out in a peaceful manner. A total of 800 police were deployed in the constituency.