Legal challenges mount in Pakistan election results

PTI-affiliated candidates challenge victories in high courts, allege their defeat is a result of 'rigging'

PTI-affiliated Independent candidates have moved the Lahore High Court challenging the results of PP-164 and NA-118 (photo: IANS)
PTI-affiliated Independent candidates have moved the Lahore High Court challenging the results of PP-164 and NA-118 (photo: IANS)
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IANS

Hectic legal activity is expected over the next few days in Pakistan as several results of the general elections held on 8 February, showing PML-N candidates as winners, are being challenged in the high courts, with opponents alleging that their defeat was a result of “rigging”, a media report said on Saturday, 10 February.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-affiliated Independent candidates have moved the Lahore High Court challenging the results of PP-164 and NA-118, where the father-son duo, Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz, secured victory, ARY News reported.

In his petition, Independent candidate Yousuf Mio, who contested against Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML) President Shehbaz Sharif, claimed that the returning officer did not allow the petitioner to enter the office.

“The results were announced in the petitioner’s absence,” stated the application, urging the court to direct the RO to announce the results as per Form-45.

Meanwhile, Alia Hamza’s husband, whose wife contested against Hamza Shehbaz, challenged the result and noted that the PML-N candidate lost the election as per Form-45.

On the other hand, Yasmeen Rashid also challenged former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s victory in Lahore’s NA-130 constituency in the Lahore High Court, ARY News reported.

Another Independent candidate, Shehzad Farooq, challenged Maryam Nawaz’s success from Lahore’s NA-119, while PML-N winner Ata Tarar’s success in NA-127 has also been challenged in court by PTI-supported Independent nominee Zaheer Abbas Khokhar.

Imran loyalists triumph

The loyalists of jailed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan -- including some political nobodies -- have defied all odds and emerged triumphant, beating political juggernauts in the high-stakes general elections held on 8 February, a media report said.

While Khan’s loyalists emerged victorious, those who betrayed him received humiliating drubbing despite having the support of the powerful circles in the country, The Express Tribune reported.

The PTI was under the state’s wrath after the 9 May (2023) attacks on national security installations nationwide. Every effort was made to literally erase Khan’s party from the political arena by jailing its top leadership and workers, forcing them to change loyalties or give up politics, and imposing a media blackout on their activities, the report said.

It became extremely difficult to stay loyal to Khan.

Prominent among those who ditched Khan was Pervez Khattak, former chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa who jumped ship to form a splinter group by the name of PTI-Parliamentarians.

Sugar cartel Jahangir Tareen -- who was once in the inner sanctum of Khan -- also cobbled up a party, Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), apparently at the behest of powers that be to woo PTI deserters.

However, both the parties received humiliating drubbing in the elections.

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