Furious Hafiz Naeem loses his seat in the Sindh Assembly due to suspected rigging

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Due to suspected election manipulation, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, the leader of Jamaat-i-Islami Karachi, gave up the Sindh Assembly seat he had won on February 8.

With 26,296 votes, Naeem emerged victorious from the PS-129 constituency (Karachi Central VIII) in the preliminary results of the general elections held on February 8th, as announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Muaz Muqaddam of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) received 20,296 votes, making him the runner-up.

The event happened the day after the party held sit-ins at eight strategically important locations in Karachi to protest purported election tampering.

Hafiz Naeem had before claimed that the MQM-P was being forced on the city even though his party’s and independent candidates had won the majority of the votes in Karachi’s national and provincial assembly constituencies.

On Saturday, the JI and members of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan and the PTI also demonstrated outside the Sindh Election Commission’s office.

Hafiz Naeem, who is furious, stated, “A PTI-backed independent nominee has won and I am not going to use this seat,” during a press conference within Karachi today.

“I asked my staff for every single Form [45] when I thought that there was just over a hundred vote difference. We discovered upon checking that the ECP had recorded less votes for us, but since I was unsuccessful, I have forfeited this seat,” he stated.

He continued by saying that his team’s calculations showed Saif Bari, the independent supported by the PTI, victorious and that his votes had been “reduced to 11,000 from 31,000.”

The ECP reported that Bari received 11,357 votes.

“Therefore, in accordance with my conscience and the ethical values of my party, I quit my provincial assembly position and urge that every position we won be given back to us,” he wrote in a second post on the social networking platform X.

Hafiz Naeem said in his media appearance that 6,000 to 20,000 more votes than the actual number had been cast for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) from PS-129.

“I also advise the MQM-P workers to declare, in front of the country, that ‘we have not won,’ if God has guided you and your conscience so dictates.”

All of them, including Mustafa Kamal, “faced the worst defeat,” he declared, promising to present “each and each vote to demonstrate the dishonesty that has been perpetrated with the nation.”

“I am leaving my position and the position that’s ours ought to be given to us,” declared the JI leader. We want to contest the outcomes of the seats that we believe we have won. We’re not going to hold onto what we lost.

Hafiz Naeem recalled his promise to the people that he would not take “even a single additional vote,” saying, “People have voted for us and agreed to our idea [sic].” I consider it an honor that the city of Karachi is supporting JI, myself, and my staff.

“This seat I have is a slap in the face to the Election Commission,” We do not wish for this seat to be donated. Give us our due,” he uttered.

Naeem claimed that candidates who received “3,000 to 4,000 votes had been imposed” on the country, seemingly referring to the MQM-P.

He acknowledged that his choice might not have been accepted by everyone and remarked, “Even if they have deleted us, they can’t remove us from people’s hearts. We shall engage in nonviolent protests and fight for people’s rights in a democratic manner.

The JI leader went on to say that social media had made the country “know everything,” and that the populace could not be forced to follow a “fake mandate.”

He demanded that the Karachi election results be overturned and that a new election be held. “Chief justice sahib, where should people of Pakistan go?” he questioned, pleading with Pakistan’s Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa to consider the claims of rigging.

SOURCE: DAWN NEWS

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