Sunday Jan 15, 2023
To protest against the delay in the announcement of results after the end of the local government elections’ second phase in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman Sunday directed the public to surround polling stations across the city as he made claims of rigging in the process.
Addressing a presser at the Idarah Noor-e-Haq, JI’s mayoral candidate said that it is the party's constitutional, democratic, and legal right to be provided numbers of their election results.
However, the JI's senior leader said Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and the secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have issued clear orders to provide Forms 11 and 12, which are not being followed.
“Some of the Sindh government’s deputy commissioners are obstructing the release of results. If results are not announced within an hour, we will begin sit-ins across the city. People should start to encircle polling stations,” he said.
The JI chief stressed that while he would congratulate successful candidates in the local body polls and encourage those who have lost, the party won’t allow hijacking people’s mandate.
Commenting on his party’s position in the elections during Geo News show Naya Pakistan, Hafiz Naeem said: “I am wary of making big claims about the polls, but according to what the numbers are showing our position is good in District Central, District East, and District Korangi. These districts have approximately 125 union committees.”
He added that JI is also leading in several places across District East; in fact, it is also ahead in some areas in Keamari.
The party, as per the JI Karachi chief, also has a lead in some parts of Malir. “Based on these numbers, I can say that the JI, in almost all areas, is at the number one position,” the politician said.
The candidate for Karachi mayorship further stated that his party’s team is preparing results; however, it will only announce the final results once all the results are accessible to them.
“Because it has been our country’s tragedy that the government does some [political] engineering even after [the polls],” the JI chief said.
“I have asked everyone to celebrate later and first fetch results from the RO after which we will accept them. We are very cautious in this matter because a lot of games happen in this duration,” he said alleging chances of rigging and engineering in the polls.
The JI Karachi emir, while commenting on the execution of today’s polls, congratulated the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for its role in conducting the polls.
“Attempts were made to not conduct elections, but the election commission held the polls according to the law. It was only JI that was 100% unanimous about conducting the elections, while the Sindh government and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan insisted against it,” Hafiz Rehman said, slamming the two parties for pushing the local body polls ahead.
Referring to the uncertainty looming over the local body elections until “4am today”, the JI leader said that he would salute Karachiites if the voter turnout was recorded even at 10%. He, however, predicted that it was around 25%
Responding to a question about the MQM-P’s boycott, Naeem said: “I wish if there was the MQM-P, they would know where they stand.”
The JI was Karachi’s third largest party but by the grace of Allah, the party has now made a stunning comeback, he claimed.
In response, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said JI and Rehman's politics revolves around protests and sit-ins — explaining the party's recent protests against the provincial administration.
"When the results started trickling in, the losers began their bid to escape," the Sindh government spokesperson told Geo News via telephone.
"Till yesterday, Jamaat-e-Islami was calling on [the ECP and the government] to hold elections, but now, when the results are coming in, the party's now talking about protests," he said.