Polling comes to a close in NA-246

Published: April 23, 2015


PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS Express News screen grab of clashes between party workers and police. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: As the clock struck 5:00pm, polling came to a close in Karachi’s NA-246 constituency on Thursday.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Imran Ismail, Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Rashid Nasim and Usman Moazzam are contesting for the coveted NA-246 seat vacated by former MQM leader Nabil Gabol.

Read: Know your candidates: Pledging to serve you

Claiming that the party has secured landslide victory in the NA-246 by-elections, MQM chief Altaf Husain said that by giving heavy mandate to the party, people have rejected all the allegations levied against MQM.

Addressing party supporters early on Friday, Altaf claimed that people have once again proved that they are not ready to accept “minus-Altaf” formula.

No major incidents were reported throughout the day. However, there were reports of delays at polling stations with MQM leader Farooq Sattar alleging that the voting process was deliberately being delayed to keep people from casting votes.

Further, two presiding officers and a female voter were arrested for allegedly attempting to cast bogus votes at the Delhi School. One of the presiding officers namely Syed Majid Ali was sentenced to three months in prison with a Rs5,000 fine. Meanwhile, Rehan Ahmed had been handed 6 months imprisonment and a Rs5,000 fine.

Following the delays, MQM candidate Kunwar Naveed repeatedly pressed for an extension in polling time. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan turned down his request. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was satisfied with the polling process with party chief Imran Khan claiming the by-polls could not have been held in a free and fair manner without Rangers supervision.

The election commission staff was deployed at 213 polling stations since Wednesday evening after the ballot boxes, papers, and bags were brought via passenger buses, amid tight security. Presiding officers of each polling station received the material from the District Central deputy commissioner’s office.

9:53pm Shireen Mazari calls MQM a ‘Nazi party’

9:20pm Imran Ismail says will accept the results

PTI’s contestant from NA-246 Imran Ismail while talking to media said he will accept the results but was disappointed the way MQM workers resorted to violence.

9:10pm Celebrations?

MQM workers and supporters have started gathering at Jinnah Ground, Azizabad as according to unofficial results, Kunwar Naveed Jamil leads with the highest number of votes.


8:10pm ‘No biometric’

JI’s Karachi chief Naeemur Rehman says would have accepted the results of NA-246 by-polls if a biometric system was in place, Express News reports.

7:40pm- Agitation resumes

Scuffle witnessed between people said to MQM workers and police, the latter begins to arrest the former. Several held.

Police resorts to tear gas shelling to disperse the crowd.

Express News screen grab

7:25pm- Rangers rescue PTI workers from Karimabad office 

Rangers rescue stranded PTI workers from Karimabad office, Express News reports.

7:00pm- Forty workers stuck inside PTI’s office: Imran Ismail

PTI candidate Imran Ismail says the situation in Karimabad is ‘dangerous.’

“Forty of our workers are stuck inside the PTI office, which is under attack,” he adds.

Further, he says hundreds of MQM supporters gathered outside their office refuse to disperse despite persistent calls by their leaders to remain calm.

6:40pm- Law and order situation in Karimabad improves

The law and order situation has improved in the area as MQM leaders disperse supporters.

Rangers has been summoned in the area to control the situation.

 6:25pm- PTI office in Karimabad pelted with stones

Unidentified men hurled stones at PTI’s Karimabad office and burnt the party flag, Express News reports.

Following this, police initiated baton-charge against the unidentified men.

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi arrives at Karimabad to defuse the situation.

Express News screengrab of PTI’s flag being burnt

5:00pm- Polling comes to a close

As the clock strikes 5, polling has been closed in all 213 stations in the NA-246 constituency.

ECP earlier said people who would be present at polling stations will be allowed to vote after 5pm.

Express News screengrab of PTI leader Imran Ismail and MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi

4:40pm- MQM once again presses for polling time extension

With just 20 minutes left for polling to end, MQM candidate Kanwar Naveed once again pressed the election commission to extend polling time.


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4:20pm- “Unfair of ECP to not extend poll time”

MQM candidate Kunwar Naveed says it is unfair for ECP not to extend the time for voting as polls commenced with at least an hour’s delay at some polling stations.

Speaking outside KDA School, Naveed alleges that some MQM workers have been arrested by Rangers for chanting slogans in favour of the party, our correspondent Rabia Ali reports.

3:51pm- Polling time will not be extended

ECP have confirmed that the time allotted for voting will not be extended.


3:45pm-Ready to vote



3:32pm- NA-246 by-polls will be free and fair: Commissioner Karachi

Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui says voting is being monitored.


“I am sure this will be a free and fair election and will set the trend for fair elections in the future,” he adds.

3:15pm- MQM candidate presses for polling time extension

MQM contestant Kanwar Naveed has written a letter to ECP requesting for voting time to be extended by 2.5 hours.

MQM camp office at Jinnah ground. PHOTO: RABIA ALI/ EXPRESS

3:10pm- Voting time should not be extended: Arif Alvi

PTI leader Arif Alvi rejected MQM’s request to extend polling time.

“Even if they extend polling for five days, MQM will not get 140,000 votes,” he says.

2:45pm- MQM using different methods of rigging: JI

Speaking at a press conference, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) says MQM is using different methods of rigging.

He adds that MQM workers from Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Orangi and Landhi are standing in line to cast votes in favour of the party.

Rehman further says that voting time should not be extended, our correspondent Rabia Ali reports.

2:35pm- Altaf Hussain addresses party workers

“The turnout has been commendable and countless people have turned out to vote,” says MQM chief as he addresses party workers.

Terming his workers as ‘brave’ Altaf Hussain says “use of force cannot deliver positive results.”

Once again, he requests that the time for voting be extended and ensures that his party will win by a large margin.

2:25pm- Presiding officers arrested 

Rangers have arrested two individuals including a presiding officer for allegedly attempting to cast bogus votes at the Delhi School.

Arrested persons, namely Syed Majid Ali has been sentenced to three months in prison with a Rs5,000 fine. Meanwhile, Rehan Ahmed has been handed 6 months imprisonment  and a Rs5,000 fine.

Rangers handed over the fines using magisterial powers.

Express News screengrab of Syed Majid Ali

Express News screengrab of presiding officer Rehan Ahmed

A female voter, Shah Sultana has also been arrested for casting bogus votes, our correspondent Oonib Azam reports.

2:20pm- Imran Khan congratulates Imran Ismail

“Judicial Commission is a landmark in the history of Pakistan,” says PTI chief Imran Khan.

“We will prove today that rigging was conducted,” Imran Khan reiterated.

He further congratulate Ismail for running a tremendous campaign.

01:54pm- Extension of voting not supported by PTI

PTI General Secretary of Karachi, Aziz Afridi, says they do not support the extension of the voting time, our correspondent Rabia Ali reports.


“We are satisfied with the voting process. MQM are complaining because like last time, five votes are not being cast in one minute,” he says.

01:35pm- Polling agent arrested 

Rangers have arrested a polling agent, Syed Majid Ali from the Delhi School for allegedly casting fake votes.

01: 28pm- MQM voters turned away: Farooq Sattar

Speaking to The Express Tribune at the MQM camp office in Jinnah Ground, Farooq Sattar said that Rangers were stopping MQM voters from voting and turned them away.

01:20pm- MQM requests for extended polling time

MQM requests ECP for an extension in voting time by three hours, our correspondent Rabia Ali reports from party’s camp office.

01:10pm- Voting time not extended

ECP says voting time has not been extended, however, those present in polling stations by 5pm will be allowed to cast their votes, Express News reports.

01:00pm- Imran Khan reacts

Taking a dig at MQM leader Farooq Sattar’s claims of voting process being delayed, PTI chairman Imran Khan says he is hopeful the results will be positive.

“MQM is already making excuses as they will not get 140,000 votes this time,” he says, addressing the media in Islamabad.

“If Rangers were not there, polling could not be held at this constituency,” he adds.

12:45pm- Environment quite tense

MQM workers misbehave with the media near Nine-Zero. They say the media are conducting biased and dictated reporting. The environment has become quite tense, our correspondent Tuba Athar reports.

12:40pm- Misbehaviour with female voters

In Aga Khan School, Block 3, reports of misbehaviour with women arose where allegedly, female voters were told to remove their burqas. Voters react furiously to the orders, our correspondent Faraz Khan reports.

Woman casting her vote. Photo: AFP

12:39pm- Rangers, polling agent clash

In Pakland School, Block 2, a clash breaks out between Rangers and polling agents; where agent is allegedly severely injured, our correspondent Faraz Khan reports.

12:37pm- JI meets MQM ire

JI candidate Rashid Nasim passes by Sirajudullah Government College in the FC area where he encountered severe chants from MQM supporters in favour of Altaf Hussain, our correspondent Oonib Azam reports.

12:35pm- PTI, MQM face-off 

PTI and MQM workers face-off at Azizabad polling station as PTI leader Nazia Rabani arrives to cast her vote, Express News reports.

Members of the two parties are chanting slogans against each other.

12:24pm- “Don’t you dare touch us”

A woman at a polling station in Azizabad claims that a Police official pushed her. He denies the claims, Express News reports.

“Is this how you play with the respect of your sisters and mothers?Why have you touched us?” she questions.

12:11pm- Voting delayed: Farooq Sattar

MQM leader Farooq Sattar alleges the voting process is deliberately being delayed to keep people from casting votes.

“The voting process is being delayed and people are being made to wait for hours,” Sattar says, while addressing media representatives.
“In some polling stations, one vote is being cast in one hour,” he adds.

An Express News screengrab

However, Sattar says the voter turnout has been commendable despite today being a working day.

“I appeal to NA-246 returning officers and law enforcement agencies, including Rangers and police, to ensure people can cast votes,” Sattar says.

He further adds, “voters should be facilitated and the ban on pillion riding must be lifted.”

12:08pm- Twitter reacts

11:55am-IG Sindh visits polling station

IG Sindh visits Comprehensive College, outside which MQM workers are chanting slogans expressing disappointment with the voting process, Express News reports.

Gate of polling station number 9 in Liaquatabad closed, our correspondent Faraz Khan reports.

11:53am- “Voting has been peaceful”

According to a Police official , no party has yet complained about the voting procedure, Express News reports.

Women casting their votes at a polling station in Karachi’s NA-246 constituency. Photo: AFP


“There are 7000 personnel of the Police force deployed across the city as well as Rangers. Comprehensive planning has been executed and voting has been peaceful thus far,” he said.

11:42am- Voter’s CNIC ripped

In Kamal Ataturk School, FC area, voters claim that a person’s CNIC was torn by Rangers official, our correspondent Faraz Khan reports.

He also reports that Rangers’ are misbehaving with MNA Sufiyan Yusuf at Sirajudin College polling station.

11:29am- Women barred from voting

Women not being allowed to cast their votes at the polling station at APWA College Karimabad, Express News reports.

11:20am- Argument with the Police

Female voters argue with police at polling station number 8 after accusing them of peeping at their vote, Express News reports.

“Why are they looking at our votes?” questions one voter.

11:15am- Votes in bags

At polling station number 8, voters instead of casting votes in ballot boxes are doing so in thier bags.

11:07am- No complaints so far: ECP

ECP says there are no serious complaints regarding the voting process. In case they receive reports of any grave misconduct, they will take stern and speedy action, Express News reported.

The ECP official further said that complaints received so far pertained to thumb prints and long voters queue.

10:40am- Imran Ismail’s car surrounded 

MQM workers have surrounded PTI’s Imran Ismail’s car questioning why he is visiting all the polling station at FB area.

As he exited the polling station, slogans were being chanted and MQM workers made it difficult for Ismail to get in his vehicle.

10:28am- No political statements at polling station

Rangers have stopped MQM MNA, Mehboob Alam, from speaking at a polling station on the grounds that one cannot give political statements in the vicinity where votes are being cast, Express News reports.

The MNA clarified that he only wanted to place a complaint on polling delays.

10:19am- Arif Alvi speaks out

PTI’s Arif Alvi while speaking to Express News, said that Rangers were doing a good job, however, expressed concern about how the votes were being cast.

“There are two polling booths in one room and this is making it hard. It is taking 20 minutes to cast one vote when it should take one minute per vote,” he said, adding that “no officer is available to discuss this with.”

10:11am- Ismail makes the rounds

PTI’s Imran Ismail speaking to Express News as he makes rounds of the polling stations.

An Express News screengrab

10:05am- Mobile phones in use

A polling agent in Dastagir’s polling station is seen as using her mobile phone which Rangers have confiscated, Express News reported. The use of mobile phones has been strictly prohibited inside polling stations.

9:49am- Votes cast so far

In Azizabad’s Comprehensive School, 90 men and 52 women have cast their votes in the past 1.5 hours, Express News reported.

An Express News screengrab

9:45am- Women come to vote

Women line up outside polling station to cast their votes.

An Express News screengrab

9:44am- No media allowed

Media are being prevented from entering the Altaf Hussain Hali School and Ibrahim Ali bhai School, Express News reports reveal.

9:38am- Polling delays

Polling has still not begun in Karimabad’s APWA Girl’s college, Express News reports. Officials assure, polling will commence in another five minutes.

9:23am- Waiting in line

Voters stand in line outside polling stations waiting to cast their votes.

According to Express News, polling still has not begun at certain polling stations under the NA-246 constituency.

An Express News screengrab of voters waiting in line

An Express News screengrab

9:20am- “Confident in Rangers”

PTI’s Imran Ismail says he is confident that free and fair by-elections will be conducted under the guard of Rangers Sindh.

An Express News screengrab of police presence at polling stations

9:13am- Satisfaction with ECP

JI’s Rashid Nasim says the party was never satisfied with the ECP. The Election Commission however, asserted that they never issued orders to stop polling at any station, Express News reports.

9:00am- Altaf Hussain’s concerns

MQM chief Altaf Hussain expresses disappointment in delay in polling.

8:30am- Difficulty arises

Polling stations 172 and 173 have been shifted from a girl’s school to a boy’s school, due to which voters are facing immense difficulty, Express News reports.

8:00am- Voting begins

Polling commences amid strict security in NA-246 provided by Rangers, Express News reported.

An Express News screengrab of Rangers carrying out security checks 

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (31)

  • Political Analyst
    Apr 23, 2015 - 9:25AM

    The long awaited day has arrived. After 12 hours, results from various polling stations will starts pouring in.

    According to my observation and experience of various elections, the losing parties always raise hue and cry that polling was not fair and rigging took place.

    So every one is going to hear the same old story today evening as well.Recommend

  • Truth
    Apr 23, 2015 - 10:05AM

    People of Karachi will defeat establishment (Rangers and its allies PTI and JI) and they will come over all the obstacles and will be victorious with big margin in the bye-election. InshallahRecommend

  • raider
    Apr 23, 2015 - 11:21AM

    IN shah ALLAH pti would be the winner, evils will have to be corralled and forced to lick the dust and pti likely to come with flying colors Recommend

  • Truth_Prevails
    Apr 23, 2015 - 11:21AM

    @Truth: People of Karachi will defeat Tyranny today God Willing. The fears embedded in the hearts of the Karcahite Kids is still there but it will InshahAllah fade away. Extortions, Body Bags, Kidnapping will be ‘politics’ of the past….slowly but surely. Recommend

  • Napier Mole
    Apr 23, 2015 - 11:33AM

    Interestingly, among all this ganging up against mqm, mqm is the only party which has not raised any major reservation on ECP and rangers unprecedented and at times partial steps being taken in the name of providing a level playing field. The components by the JI candidate in this report are particularly obnoxious as he claims that JI never had any faith in ECP. This is called a sore loser, if any.Recommend

  • Honda
    Apr 23, 2015 - 12:49PM

    Rangers and police they don’t have any shame to respect the woman. It seems like they respect the same way their mother and sisters. SHAME ON YOU CORRUPT RULERS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF ISLAMIC JAMHURIYA PAKISTANRecommend

  • Political Observer
    Apr 23, 2015 - 1:10PM

    Real issue: If 100% government machinery can not deliver a smooth and fair election on one seat, you can imagine where we are standing as a nation. Compare it with recently held elections in Delhi where BJP wiped out by a new entrant and neither any party nor any candidate raise a finger on the electoral process. Recommend

  • asad
    Apr 23, 2015 - 1:22PM

    MQM crying like a newly wed girl leaving her parents home.Recommend

  • Salman - SK
    Apr 23, 2015 - 1:54PM

    No one can sanely deny that NA-246 is MQM’s flagship constituency. Any other party’s victory will be proof enough of ‘establishment’s’ rail-roading and will de-legitimize the winner. In the long-run anyone but MQM’s candidate will find it difficult to even walk through his own constituency, much less claim to represent it. The high-handedness of Rangers and “establishment” reported in this news item gives legitimacy to MQM’s adoption of muscle-flexing tactics. I am saying this despite being an MQM critic.Recommend

  • Hasan Askari
    Apr 23, 2015 - 3:22PM

    It seems to me PTI is routed.

    Effort is now going on to reduce the margin of defeat. Therefore slow voting process and hurdles. Recommend

  • Anon
    Apr 23, 2015 - 4:02PM

    @Truth: And go on living in the garden of Eden they have created for themselves… what a thing to be proud of!Recommend

  • tahseen
    Apr 23, 2015 - 4:33PM

    Rangers and other law enforcement agencies must treat citizens of karachi in respectable manner.
    There must be a difference between MULZIM & MUJRIM.
    A petson held by rangers in their mobile must be treated in respectable way.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 23, 2015 - 5:49PM

    While Pakistan’s real leadership is handling very important issues, street leadership headed by an ex-cricketer is busy in petty politics. God forbidden during war, this ex-cricketer will not become serious. Recommend

  • reader
    Apr 23, 2015 - 5:54PM

    abey truth sb kia establishment yar to vo jinhun ne sab ka NIC chheena hua he ghar ghar se to vo kia kam “ESTABLISHED” hein???? us zalimana “ESTABLISHMENT” ko phir kon defeat kare ga???Recommend

  • Shakil
    Apr 23, 2015 - 6:30PM

    Looks like MQM is loosing its bastion of power!Recommend

    Apr 23, 2015 - 7:20PM

    why Rangers personal was inside the polling booth…election become unique,camera,control center,delaying the process of voting and so many hidden tricks. Suddenly Two polling stations closed down in NA-246.Election was not supervised by ECP ,but from some were else.Shame on PTI for trying to win the election by foul play with the help of establishment..ET hope you will print my commentRecommend

  • Living Corpse
    Apr 23, 2015 - 9:11PM

    They all tried to humiliate Karachiites yet again, the Circus of PTI and their ring masters …all lost. The true representative won. Well done..Recommend

  • Imran
    Apr 23, 2015 - 9:26PM

    Democracy cannot work in a country like Pakistan with a very low literacy rate. You know this when people vote for a party from whose head quarters target killers were arrested. Recommend

  • Saima Khan Niazi
    Apr 23, 2015 - 10:52PM

    Congratulations MQM

    you are the winner of Pakistan first fair election per Imran Khan

    What does mean? Recommend

  • Hasan Askari
    Apr 23, 2015 - 11:54PM

    Ladies and Gentleman. My fellow citizens

    Once again Allah has taught Imran Khan Niazi a lesson. This time through people of Karachi.

    Your arrogance will not be tolerated.
    Your bad manners will not be tolerated.
    Your prejudice will not be tolerated
    Your biasness will not be tolerated
    Your support for extremism will not be tolerated
    Your U turns will not be tolerated

    Your make believe world does not exist. There is no Tusnami, there is no rigging on scale you talk about. Like it or not but people do connect with MQM, PPP, PML-N and not you.

    Everything you have done has failed.

    Time is to ask why? Let me answer in easy way

    Because you are not an agent of change. But you represent the same. You are no different than others. So stop trying to take short cuts. First work hard, respect others, be humble, show performance and then come to take votes.

    You are not Justice party but selective justice party and hence you are NOT CONNECTING.

    Thanks to people of Karachi for not falling into trap of this farce called PTI Recommend

  • Sharjeel Awan
    Apr 24, 2015 - 12:03AM

    Both PTI and MQM are doing politics of hate and violence. Both are not sincere with Pakistan. Both are agents of Establishment. Both are enemies of democracy.Recommend

  • Shehryar
    Apr 24, 2015 - 12:54AM

    @Imran: Absolutely right. However, I’m not sure if literacy can make much of a difference. People vote based on their ethnicity and that is never going to make their lives better. With all the racism in Pak, not sure how things will work in the country. People upheld the status quo in this election. so.. now they can enjoy it.Recommend

  • Moron
    Apr 24, 2015 - 12:55AM

    Shame on you for calling people of NA246 illiterate. They are literate only if they vote for PTI? Your claim stands against the facts as Karachi is one of the most literate city in Pakistan. Please be graceful enough to accept the result instead of hiding behind lame claims!!Recommend

  • Napier Mole
    Apr 24, 2015 - 2:08AM

    PTI and its leader should be sued for defaming Karachi. Every utterance they make ridicules Karachi, puts Karachiites to shame and depicts Karachi as a cauldron of crime. A person or party true to Karachi would never defame the city like this. No wonder the people of Karachi pulled ranks behind mqm. I and many others are genuinely critical of mqm on many counts but at least credit them for saving Karachi from wolves. On the other hand, the only thing PTI has done is to stoke the fires of hate and discontent. They were welcome to present an alternate and tangible agenda for Karachi but chose to limit themselves to bombast and demagoguery. PTIs conclusive defeat is a bigger political slap to PTI than even its dharna fiasco.

    Long live Karachi!Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 24, 2015 - 3:01AM

    Its a shameful defeat of Establishment’s jokers. Government should immediately stop working of Judicial Commission and punish everyone who have wasted our precious time and resources.Recommend

  • Salim
    Apr 24, 2015 - 3:04AM

    Well done Muttahida!!!Recommend

  • Nazish
    Apr 24, 2015 - 3:06AM

    Great Victory for MQM !

    A free and fair election, by PTI’s own words.Recommend

  • Bina
    Apr 24, 2015 - 3:22AM

    Victory by a big margin for the MQM.

    The ex-sportsman’s supporters should show some sportsman spirit and finally wholeheartedly accept the MQM’s mandate.

    What else would it take to show that MQM has genuine support?

    If you still cant accept it, its nothing but “rona gaana”.

    The elections were executed keeping in effect most of PTI’s demands:

    -Overseed thoroughly by Rangers
    -Polling Time NOT extended

    In addition,
    -Pillion Riding was banned
    -No reports of rigging by PTI’s own accounts

    Still MQM wins. By current reports, it had >90,000 votes as compared to 20,000 for PTI. Anything else?Recommend

  • jaagutho
    Apr 24, 2015 - 5:38AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: lol, if people were punished on the amount of time wasted, then you would be serving 3000 years in jail for wasting the time of most ET readers.Recommend

  • ahmer
    Apr 24, 2015 - 7:57AM

    PTI… In your faceRecommend

  • Living Corpse
    Apr 24, 2015 - 8:03AM

    To the ex-Cricketer/present Taliban…i demand you apologise to the people of Karachi for your hatred, prejudice and lack of respect for them. Apologise Now! Recommend

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