Jamaat-i-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman on Monday lost a Sindh Assembly seat he had won after the February 8 elections over alleged fraud.
According to the provisional results Released by the Election Commission of Pakistan for the February 8 general elections, Naeem had won from PS-129 (Karachi Central VIII) constituency with 26,296 votes.
Muaz Muqaddam of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) came second with 20,296 votes.
The news comes a day after the party organized sit-ins at eight different key points in Karachi against alleged fraud in the polls.
Hafiz Naeem had earlier stated that his party’s and independent candidates had won the majority of votes in Karachi’s national and provincial assembly constituencies, but that the MQM-P was gaining ground in the city.
The JI had also protested outside the Sindh election commission office on Saturday, where it was joined by supporters of the PTI and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.
At a press conference in Karachi today, a furious Hafiz Naeem said: “A PTI-backed independent candidate has won and I will not take advantage of this seat.”
“When I calculated that there was a difference of a few hundred votes, I asked my team for each and every Form (45). When we checked, we found that the ECP had secured less votes for us, but since I did not succeed, I lose this seat,” he said.
He went on to claim that PTI-backed independent candidate Saif Bari had won according to his team’s calculations, stating that his votes had “reduced from 31,000 to 11,000”.
According to the DBSBari had obtained 11,357 votes.
In a separate post on social media platform we won”.
In his media talk, Hafiz Naeem alleged that the votes cast for PS-129’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) were inflated from 6,000 to 20,000.
“I also tell the MQM-P workers that if God has shown you the right path and your conscience speaks, then come before the nation and announce that ‘we have not won’.”
“They faced the worst defeat, all of them, including Mustafa Kamal,” he said, vowing to get “each and every vote to show the fraud that has been committed on the nation.”
The JI leader stated: “I am losing my seat and the seat which is ours should be given to us. We will challenge (the results of) the seats (where we know) we have won. We will not reclaim what we have lost.”
Recalling his promise to the public not to want “even a single additional vote,” Hafiz Naeem said: “People have voted for us and accepted our idea (sic). The city of Karachi stands with JI, me and my team, which I consider an honor.
“(…) this seat of mine is a slap in the face to the electoral commission. We don’t want this seat in charity. Give us our right,” he said.
In an apparent reference to the MQM-P, Naeem said candidates who got “between 3,000 and 4,000 votes were imposing themselves” on the nation.
Acknowledging that some may not consider his decision to be the right one, he said: “Even if they have erased us, they cannot erase us from people’s hearts. “We will fight for the people, democratically (and) we will carry out peaceful demonstrations.”
The JI leader further said that the nation “knew everything” thanks to social media and that a “false mandate” could not be imposed on the people.
He asked to annul the results of the elections in Karachi and hold the exercise again. Asking Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa to take note of the manipulation allegations, he asked: “The Chief Justice sahibWhere should people go?
PTI praises Rehman’s decision
Reacting to Rehman’s decision, the PTI praised him and said it expected “similar honesty” from other candidates.
“There is no democracy without transparency,” he said in a publication on X.
PTI leader Taimur Khan Jhagra, candidate for a provincial assembly seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said: “All we need are people like this for the country to progress. Well done!”
He further wrote: “The more people like Deputy Commissioner Afaq Wazir try hard to cover up their illegalities by changing the results in eight Peshawar seats, the more they become criminally involved.”