PTI workers block motorway in protest against alleged rigging

Mushtaq Yusufzai
Monday, Feb 12, 2024

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers on Sunday staged a protest and closed the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway for traffic against what they called “rigging in the elections in Peshawar and stealing people’s mandate.”

The call for protest was given by two PTI senior leaders and former provincial ministers, Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Kamran Khan Bangash.

They had also staged a demonstration a day earlier against the alleged rigging in elections in their constituencies, saying that “corrupt district returning officers and returning officers had changed their results on the official forms under compulsions.”

Taimur Jhagra was stated to be PTI’s potential candidate for the chief minister slot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Neither Taimur Jhagra and Kamran Bangash nor PTI had expected they would lose elections as both were considered powerful candidates in Peshawar.

Taimur Jhagra alleged that the corrupt DROs and ROs had changed their results on the forms, and privately informed them that it was done under compulsion.

On Sunday, the protesters marched toward the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and closed it for traffic at the Peshawar Toll Plaza. There were around 250 PTI protesters and the police could not resist them when they stopped vehicles for traffic.

Some of the people driving from Peshawar to Islamabad and vice versa made appeals to the PTI protesters to let them go as they had their families with them but they couldn’t be convinced.

There were long queues of vehicles on both sides of the Toll Plaza and some of the people travelling from Peshawar to other destinations returned and used the GT Road for travelling.

The motorway remained closed till filing this report.

Both Taimur Jhagra and Kamran Bangash claimed they had won election with a big margin and it was known to everyone, including the media.

However, they complained that their results were changed and given to the candidates who were at the bottom of the list of unsuccessful candidates.

Taimur Jhagra said they had all the evidence, adding that “Form 45 shows one thing and Form 47 shows another.”

“There must be a presiding officer who can confirm that the results we have are different from the actual ones. They changed the result for Mahmood Jan; he got 18,111 votes, and Kiramat Khan got 10,914 votes. They altered it to Mahmood Jan getting 14,332 votes and Kiramat Khan 18,529 votes, all done at night,” said the PTI senior leader.

He said Ali Zaman’s actual vote count was 21,686, and Abdul Haseeb from JUIF was second. However, he said they declared Arbab Waseem, who was fourth with 5,471 votes, as the winner.

Arbab Jahandad received 24,558 votes against 9,923 of Ijaz of JUIF.

“They changed Arbab Jahandad’s votes to 21,817 and Ijaz’s to 45,959 by rigging,” he claimed.

Taimur Jhagra further said that they had verified all of Malik Shahab’s Form 45, and he had received 26,192 votes, while Arbab Usman had secured 11,524 votes.

He said Kamran Bangash got 30,058 votes, and Dr Naveed from ANP, who got 6,081 votes, was second.

“Yet, Tariq Awan, who was seventh with 3,996 votes, was declared the winner with 20,334 votes. They also rigged an NA seat; Sajid Nawaz got 65,000 votes, and Noor Alam got 38,700 votes,” he claimed.

He claimed that their ROs were missing, and no one knows where they were.