- Imran proposes a general elections under the “credible ECP
- Maryam accepts the loss of her party
- 15 seats are given to PTI and four go to PML-N.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Sunday routed the PML-N by winning at most 15 seats in the critical by-elections in 20 seats that were removed following the exclusion from PTI supporters who supported Hamza Shehbaz in the Punjab the chief minister’s post.
According to unofficial results, PTI gained 5 seats across central Punjab and five seats in the north Punjab, and as many seats as five seats in the south Punjab. Imran Khan’s PTI lost one seat in Lahore and three seats located in southern Punjab along with one from north Punjab in the by-elections that were held in 14 districts in the province.
The ruling PML-N won just four seats as it fielded turncoats in every constituency, with the exception of one in Lahore in which PTI exile Aleem Khan made a decision not to run in the by-election.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a tweet expressed his gratitude to party workers and voters from Punjab for defeating what he termed not only PML-N’s candidates and the state apparatus, including the harassment of police officers as well as a “totally bias” Election Commission of Pakistan.
He also thanked his PTI allies that include PML-Q, Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).
“The only way to move forward from this is to hold democratic and free elections in an accountable ECP. Anything else will result in more political uncertainty and more economic chaos,” Khan said.
As the election scoreboard became clearer, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz tweeted that her party must take the result with a smile and bow to the decision of voters as losing and winning is a an element of the political process. She advised her party to recognize its weaknesses and to work to overcome them.
PTI members including Fawad Chaudhry, who was the former federal minister was pleased with Maryam’s comments and said Hamza Shehbaz should immediately resign because he was not able to fulfill his authority to govern.
Fawad claimed that Imran Khan would be the sole important factor that could determine the fate of the two parties when he fought through a chaotic election campaign. He was able to make his point clear by encouraging voters to engage in “jihad” in order to dismantle people who have turned against them and achieve “real freedom”. He posted an Urdu couplet , ‘ye waqt the raoonat pekhak daal gya/ye kon bo rha tha khuda lehjey my’.
The by-polls took place in a tranquil way, with only occasional fights, acrimonious sloganeering, accusations and counter-allegations at certain polling places.
When the polls ended at 5 pm, both PTI as well as PML-N leaders declared that the election procedure was conducted peacefully throughout the province. PML-N’s minister of home Attaullah Tarar added that there was there was no major incident of law and order was disclosed.
Fawad claimed that people have come to their home in a flurry to ensure that Pakistan was granted “real freedom from foreign rulers”.
The polls were conducted in a peaceful way and that the polling was peaceful, Mr Khan following the election indicated a clash with police in Lahore, arrest of Shahbaz Gill in Muzaffargarh and the police’s attempts to detain PTI’s former Ministers Shibli Faraz, and Zulfi Bukhari.
The explanation: Why the by-polls that are held in Punjab are important
The PTI’s winning candidates and their constituencies include Hassan Malik (PP-83, Khushab-II); Irfan Ullah Khan Niazi (PP-90, Bhakkar-II); Ali Afzal Sahi (PP-97, Faisalabad-I); Mian Muhammad Azam (PP-125, Jhang-II); Mehr Muhammad Nawaz (PP-127, Jhang-IV); Khurram Shehzad Virk (PP-140, Sheikhupura-VI); Mian Muhammad Akram Usman (PP-158, Lahore-XV); Shabbir Ahmad Gujjar (PP-167, Lahore-XXIV); Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar (PP-170, Lahore-XXVI); Muhammad Ghulam Sarwar (PP-202, Sahiwal-VII); Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi (PP-217, Multan-VII); Muhammad Aamir Iqbal Shah (PP-224, Lodhran-I) and Muhammad Moazzam Ali Khan (PP-272, Muzaffargarh-V).
The most successful PML-N contestants will be Raja Saghir Ahmed (PP-07, Rawalpindi-II); Malik Asad Ali Khokhar (PP-168 Lahore XXV); Fida Hussain (PP-237 Bahawalnagar-I, Bahawalnagar) as well as Muhammad Sibtain Raza (PP-273, Muzaffargarh-VI).
The only independent candidacy Syed Muhammad Rafiuddin Bukhari won from the PP-228 (Lodhran-V) district.
The PTI leadership is of the opinion that the people of Punjab were angry against their “imported government” and embracing the party’s chairman Imran Khan’s claim that they sold their consciences to make money and that they should be destroyed.
The victory of the PTI and the resignations of some dissidents from the party has not only put an immediate threat against the Hamza Shehbaz government in Punjab and also could be a threat to Shehbaz Sharif’s government at the Centre.
Commenting on PTI’s victory in a landslide the former PML-Q federal Minister Moonis Elahi tweeted that PML-N’s defeat was actually the victory of Pakistan. He claimed that Punjab was freed from the Sharif family’s slavery through dismantling all chains.
“The true process of changing is set to begin right now, and Punjab and Pakistan will grow in leaps and bounds under direction of Imran Khan.” said Imran Khan.