JI's Hafiz Naeemur Rehman Relinquishes Seat In Favour Of 'Winner' From PTI

Several politicians claim they did not receive as many votes in the Form-45s as shown in Form-47s

JI's Hafiz Naeemur Rehman Relinquishes Seat In Favour Of 'Winner' From PTI

Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman on Monday announced he was relinquishing the provincial assembly seat he had won in Karachi, terming his victory a fabrication.

He stated that the true winner, per Form-45, deserves to be declared the winner from the constituency and that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the real winner on the seat.

Addressing a news conference in Karachi on Monday, Rehman said that the Election Commission of Pakistan had inflated his tally of votes when consolidating the final results.

He said he had sufficient moral fortitude to call a spade a spade and accept a defeat as he had done on the national assembly seat.

Rehman reiterated that those who had genuinely won the public mandate should be allowed to stand as winners, and those who lost should be allowed to lose.

According to the Form-47 issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan, out of the 83,521 votes cast across 147 polling stations in the constituency, PTI-backed independent candidate Saif Bari secured only 11,357 votes.

Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) candidate Muhammad Asad Hanif secured 15,014 votes, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) candidate Maaz Muqaddam won 20,608 votes, while Rehman won the constituency with 26,296 votes.

But Rehman termed the excess votes as "charity", which he did not need.

"Adhering to my morals and good faith traditions of my party, I announce to relinquish my provincial assembly seat and demand that all our legitimately won seats should be returned to us," he said.

Curiously, Rehman claimed that per Form-45s, he had secured 26,000 seats but that in the final vote count, his votes were shown to be over 30,000. However, the Form-47 issued by the ECP shows a tally closer to the one claimed by Rehman to be correct.

Earlier in the day, JI Ameer Sirajul Haq resigned as party chief following the party's debacle in the general elections. 

Meanwhile, an independent candidate from NA-248, Syed Sadiq Raza Jarchini, in a video statement, claimed that per Form-45, the PTI-backed independent candidate Arsalan Khalid, had won the elections from the constituency while the votes of his rival, MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, showed he had lost.

Jarchini claimed that he, too, had Form-45s, according to which he received far fewer votes than Khalid.

According to the Form-47 for the constituency released by the ECP, in the 361 polling stations, Khalid received 86,342 votes. Siddiqui, however, won the constituency by securing 103,082 votes. 

Khalid, however, claimed that the Form-45s, of which they had copies, put the MQM-P in fourth position in the constituency. 

While stating that he received 86,000 votes - a tally close to the final tally on Form-47 - Khalid claimed that Siddiqui did not even get 20,000 votes and was fourth on the list of the final tally, yet he was declared the winner. 

Khalid added that they have approached the high court against the theft of the public mandate.

Rigged allegations 

In a television interview, PPP senior leader Nadeem Afzal Chann stated that the public mandate needs to be respected and that he intends to challenge the result of the polls in court.

Chann said that the public voted for the PTI as a form of protest against the system, adding that the votes he received were because he, too, had spoken out against the system, while his party had also criticised the system and the PML-N. 

Asked whether the PPPP should enter a coalition with the PML-N given that the PPPP is a deciding factor for any party to attain majority and form a government in the centre, Chann said that he wished that the PPPP forms a coalition with the PTI and that should the party choose to sit with the PML-N, it would come at a great political cost, and it would take a major sacrifice from the party to sit in government with the PML-N.

To a question about speaking with the PTI to form a coalition, Chann said that he had spoken to individual leaders, but no formal conversation had happened. 

He added that there is a consensus among a majority of PTI leaders that they should work together with the PPP against the PML-N, noting that only the PTI and the PPP have a genuine mandate. However, if the PTI does not wish to sit with the PPP, it would be unfortunate, and at that point, the PPP would have no option but to sit with the PML-N.

Chann claimed that in his constituency, his opponent Zaid Zaman Gujjar's maternal uncle was the chief secretary who appointed the returning officer, presiding officer and polling staff of choice. 

The PPP leader claimed that when the results started coming in, the main contest emerged between him and the PTI candidate, but after 4 am, around 50-60 bags went missing while the results showed a different picture. Chann accused his opponent of using state machinery to stuff ballots and rig the elections.

Chann said they still do not have 50-60 Form-45s from the relevant presiding officers and that they will move the courts over it.

PPP members booked

Newly elected MNA Irfan Zafar Laghari and his Uncle Qamber Khan Laghari, chairman of the Sita Town Committee, were booked on Sunday for alleged terrorism.

An FIR was registered against the two at the Mehar police station in Dadu.

According to the FIR, it has been registered under sections 324, 353, 147,148,149 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 6/7 of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997.

In the FIR, the two are accused of being involved in the attack on an Army camp set up in Mono Technical College of Mehar. 

The complaint in the case registered on behalf of the state, accused the Lagharis and 200 others of attempting to kill army personnel. 

Former PPP MPA Fayaz Butt and Waqar Janwhari were also detained in the same case by the police but were later released after finding insufficient evidence.

Sources claimed that the PPP MNA and his uncle, along with Fayyaz Butt and hundreds of supporters, stormed the office of the District Returning Officer. 

They allegedly opened fire at the army personnel deployed outside the office. 
Fear engulfed the area in the wake of the incident, and it took hours for the law enforcement agencies to bring the situation to normalcy. 

The author is a practicing lawyer and freelance journalist. His areas of interest are cultural diversity and socio-political issues of Sindh.