ISLAMABAD, Feb 12,2024: A wave of protests has swept across the nation as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters and activists took to the streets on Sunday, vehemently condemning what they allege to be “blatant rigging in the general election” conducted on Feb 8.
In Peshawar, the PTI protest gained momentum as workers strategically blocked the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway, asserting claims of election malpractice. The toll plaza on the motorway transformed into a focal point for PTI activists, disrupting vehicular traffic from noon well into the late hours of Sunday night. This marked the third consecutive day of PTI’s relentless protests, targeting what they perceive as manipulation in the results of eight Provincial and one National Assembly seats.
Punjab witnessed a planned series of “peaceful” protest demonstrations by the PTI, initially aimed at denouncing “massive rigging post-polling.” However, last-minute cancellations occurred, citing fears of a “false flag operation.” Despite the alterations, protests erupted in several cities, notably in Lahore, where law enforcement detained a considerable number of PTI supporters at various protest venues.
Rahim Yar Khan reported police raids on the residences of seven PTI-backed independent candidates, winners in the Feb 8 elections. Local PTI leaders claimed these actions were an attempt to coerce the candidates into aligning with PML-N.
Sindh witnessed a surge in political unrest as protests against alleged rigging continued for a second consecutive day. Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) blocked crucial road links, accusing the Pakistan Peoples Party of manipulating the poll results in their favor. In Karachi, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) staged sit-ins at pivotal intersections, demanding the nullification of what they termed “fake results” by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
PTI maintained its pressure, staging a demonstration outside ECP Sindh’s headquarters in Karachi. PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman urged protestors to remain calm and peaceful, emphasizing the party’s determination to challenge the alleged rigging through legal avenues and regain their mandate. Zaman cautioned against provocations, underscoring the party’s confidence in prevailing through legal battles. The nation stands at a crossroads, witnessing a heightened state of tension and controversy surrounding the recent elections.