Karachi witnessed a fiery Sunday as two major political parties, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), continued their protests against alleged manipulation in the February 8th general elections. Both parties vowed to fight tooth and nail to reclaim their “stolen” constituencies in the bustling metropolis.
JI and PTI chose separate tactics this time, a day after a joint demonstration outside the Sindh headquarters of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). JI opted for simultaneous sit-ins at eight key locations across the city, including Hassan Square, Water Pump, StarGate, Quaidabad, UP Mor, Nazimabad No7, Korangi 2 1⁄2, and Orangi Town No5. Leaders at each location delivered passionate addresses, reiterating their commitment to legal and constitutional pursuits in regaining their “stolen” mandate.
Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, Karachi chief of JI, delivered a scathing indictment, claiming JI and independent candidates secured the majority of votes in both national and provincial assemblies. However, he alleged MQM-Pakistan was being imposed on Karachi through blatant manipulation of the people’s true choice. He challenged the ECP to justify its repeated disregard for the public’s will and questioned the legitimacy of an election costing the national exchequer a staggering Rs48 billion if results were to be determined whimsically.
PTI Activists Told to Stay Calm
Meanwhile, PTI supporters gathered outside the ECP Sindh headquarters, armed with placards, party flags, and resounding chants demanding justice for independent candidates backed by the party. They vehemently argued that these candidates, representing the city’s most popular party, were unjustly denied their rightful victories.
Khurram Sher Zaman, president of PTI’s Karachi chapter, urged his followers to maintain peace and composure during their fight for constitutional rights. He warned against potential provocations aimed at creating law and order issues and emphasized the importance of focusing on legal battles and peaceful protests. “Your mandate isn’t lost,” he assured the crowd, “We will win back each and every Karachi constituency.”
Zaman highlighted discrepancies in the official ECP results, citing an instance where MQM allegedly received 5,000 votes in a Sindh Assembly seat, but inexplicably received 88,000 votes in the corresponding National Assembly constituency. This stark inconsistency fueled further doubts and fueled the protesters’ resolve.
The fiery protests in Karachi underscore the deep-seated grievances and concerns surrounding the recently concluded elections. Both JI and PTI remain resolute in their fight against alleged rigging, with legal challenges and continued demonstrations marking the path forward. As the situation unfolds, one thing is certain: the political landscape of Karachi remains charged, and the fight for what each party believes is the true mandate of the people is far from over.