pakistan
Tuesday Apr 26 2022
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PTI protests outside ECP offices across country over 'biased attitude'

PTI supporters chant slogans during a protest against the biased attitude of the chief election commissioner and to demand immediate general elections in the country, outside the ECP office in Islamabad on April 26, 2022. — AFP
PTI supporters chant slogans during a protest against the "biased attitude" of the chief election commissioner and to demand immediate general elections in the country, outside the ECP office in Islamabad on April 26, 2022. — AFP

  • Protests held outside ECP offices across country amid tight security. 
  • Sheikh Rasheed says if ruling coalition does not want a “civil war,” then elections should be held before May 30.
  • PTI leader Shibli Faraz says party was recording a “symbolic protest” outside the ECP’s office.


ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/QUETTA/KARACHI/PESHAWAR: Amid tight security, the members and supporters of the PTI staged protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) office’s across the country on Thursday over the body’s alleged "biased attitude".

The protestors that had gathered outside the ECP’s headquarters stated that they were demonstrating against the electoral body’s “biased attitude” towards the PTI. They also demanded the ECP conclude the foreign funding case filed by the PTI against PML-N and PPP.

Apart from the foreign funding case, the protestors also demanded the ECP unseat the dissident MNAs of the PTI, adding that if the ECP fails to do so, then it would be “violating” the Constitution.

Many PTI leaders and AML leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed addressed the protestors outside the ECP headquarters.

Sheikh Rasheed, who was also the interior minister during the previous government, said that if the ruling coalition wants the country not to head towards “civil war”, then elections should be held before May 30.

“They (coalition government) used to demand elections now why are they running away from it?” asked Rasheed adding that elections cannot be stopped.

On the other hand, PTI leader Shibli Faraz said that the party was recording a “symbolic protest” outside the ECP’s office.

The former science and technology minister also alleged that the government had blocked all roads leading to the ECP headquarters which had stopped many people from gathering.

Apart from the protests outside the ECP headquarters in Islamabad, the protests were also held outside the electoral body’s provincial headquarters in Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar. Apart from the ECP’s main office and provincial headquarters, the protests were also held in other districts of the country.

According to Geo News, the PTI protesters outside the ECP’s office in Karachi had decided to march toward the Sindh High Court but later returned to the provincial headquarters of the electoral body.

Security tight outside ECP offices

Ahead of the protests, the security was tightened outside the ECP office across the country, especially its headquarters.

The interior ministry had sent letters to the four chief secretaries, the Islamabad commissioner and the inspector-general to provide security to the ECP offices because of the protests. The officials were also told to increase security for the four provincial chief election commissioners.

In Islamabad, barbed wires were placed outside the entrance of the ECP building as well as containers. A prisoner van was also placed outside the ECP’s headquarters in Islamabad.

CEC’s Raja had gone to “extremes of impartiality and dishonesty”: Fawad

Last week, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry announced that the party will protest outside the ECP offices across the country against the CEC Sikander Sultan Raja’s “attitude”.

Taking to Twitter, Fawad said that the PTI’s political committee met today and reviewed “matters related” to the ECP.

Fawad alleged that CEC’s Raja had gone to “extremes of impartiality and dishonesty” and also claimed that “under a plan” the ECP was not issuing the notification to unseat the dissident MNAs of the party.

“Therefore, the PTI will protest outside the ECP’s office across the country on April 26, Tuesday, against the election commissioner’s attitude,” said Fawad.

He added that all district offices of the PTI have been issued instructions regarding the protest.

The PTI has been accusing the ECP of acting impartially ever since the Islamabad High Court ordered the electoral body to wrap up the PTI's foreign funding case within 30 days.

The orders were issued on April 14 by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on applications filed by the PTI, asking for Akbar S Babar’s separation from the case, the dismissal of the case, and keeping the PTI documents secret.