MQM-P's defeat was a joint effort of humans, aliens: Sattar

Party has submitted an application with the ECP, seeking recount in all Karachi constituencies

Naeem Khanzada August 03, 2018
Dr Farooq Sattar. PHOTO:EXPRESS

KARACHI: Leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) have alleged that the combined efforts of "aliens and humans" were behind their defeat in the 2018 general elections from Karachi. They demanded that reelections be held in the constituencies where rigging has taken place.

A large number of the party's supporters and workers, led by Dr Farooq Sattar, Faisal Subzwari, Rauf Siddiqui, Mehfooz Yar Khan, Abdul Haseeb and Amir Khan, protested against alleged rigging in the general elections by staging a sit-in outside the Election Commission of Pakistan's Karachi office on Thursday.

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Earlier, the district administration had barred the MQM-P from holding the protest. Police officials even asked Subzwari to remove the signboard put on the make-shift stage. They warned that the leaders could be charged over violation of the Loudspeaker Act. On hearing this, Subzwari refused to negotiate with the police personnel and contacted the information minister, Jamil Yusuf, asking him to intervene. "When other parties can protest, why are we being stopped?" he questioned, adding that when others protested, they were provided security but when the MQM-P wanted to protest, they were not allowed to exercise their right.

Addressing the gathering, MQM-P senior deputy convener, Amir Khan, said that those who wanted to bury the MQM-P were themselves in a grave situation now. "They say the RTS malfunctioned, but which system malfunctioned while giving results to polling agents?" he questioned, adding that by ordering polling agents to leave the premises, systemic rigging had been carried out in the elections.

"We demand that the chief election commissioner resign immediately," said Khan, calling for reelections to be conducted in the constituencies where the polling process or results were compromised. Khan warned it would be a mistake for institutions to consider the MQM-P weak. "If need be, we will come out with full force," he said.

When it was his turn to speak, Dr Sattar laid out the steps through which the party had been defeated in the polls.  "Humans and aliens have defeated the MQM-P," he said. "First, our population wasn't counted in the census. Now, our votes aren't being counted," he claimed.

Dr Sattar termed the 2018 general elections the dirtiest in the country's history. "These weren't elections, this was selection," he said. "We reject this selection," he said, calling on the ECP, caretaker government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan to actually recount the votes in some constituencies for transparency.

Meanwhile, Rauf Siddiqui said that on polling day, rigging began after 6pm. "The chief election commissioner is responsible for the rigged elections and he should resign immediately," he said.

Other leaders also spoke on the occasion.

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Application for recount

The MQM-P has filed an application with the provincial election commission, seeking recount of votes in all constituencies across the city. The application, filed by MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, also calls for verification of thumb impressions and demands permission for polling agents to attend the recounting process.

Siddiqui has maintained that his party has serious reservations over the counting process on the day of the elections. "Our polling agents were kept out throughout the counting process," he alleged, adding that his party had strong reservations over the serious violations of ECP rules and regulations. "We demand that ECP to hold the results until it conducts a recount of votes in the provincial and national constituencies of Karachi. We also want to ensure that our polling agents are present during the counting process.

After submitting the application, MQM-P leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel told the media that the elections had become controversial. "We had strong reservations over the ECP process even before the elections," he said. "Our suspicions have proven correct after the elections results."


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