Why has the returning officer withheld NA-75 Daska by-poll results?

The returning officer in NA-75 Daska has on Saturday withheld the by-poll results. PTI is claiming to have won the election. What is the situation on the ground? Read this story.

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The returning officer in NA-75 Daska has on Saturday withheld the by-poll results. The RO has forwarded reference to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. The provincial election commissioner has been directed to investigate the matter.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate on NA-75 Nosheen Iftikhar had moved a plea to the CEC to withhold the results. She in her plea requested to investigate the results of 33 missing polling stations.

On Friday, at least two Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters were killed and three others sustained injuries after violence erupted outside a polling station during Daska by-polls, said SACM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan.

She said during a presser that PML-N goons attacked two brothers, who were supporters of PTI, and killed them besides also injuring three others.

Read more: Senate Elections: Is PDM trying to buy PTI’s lawmakers?

Zeeshan and Majid Khan were killed in an attack from the PML-N activists, she had said adding that two others namely Tayyab, Haider and Sajid sustained injuries. The SACM Punjab said that the attackers would not be spared and would be brought to justice.

Notably,  the seat of NA-75 Tehsil Daska, District Sialkot was vacated after the death of PML-N’s MNA Syed Iftikhar-ud-Din in August 2020. PML-N gave the ticket to his daughter, Nosheen Iftikhar, in the by-election.

PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah had petitioned for the polling time to be increased in view of the disruption. He accused the “government’s thugs” to attempting to thin out the voter turnout with violence, claiming that PTI’s polling camps were all empty and unattended.

The request was turned down by the Election Commission.

PTI’s Usman Dar, in response, accused Sanaullah of disturbing the law and order in the constituency. “Rana Sanaullah was roaming around with groups of armed men,” he said, adding that a police complaint will be registered against him.

He claimed Sanaullah “wants to do in Daska what was done in Model Town”.

CM takes notice of  incident

Chief Minister Buzdar, while taking notice of the firing incident, has sought a report from the inspector general of Police (IGP).

The chief minister has ordered the arrest of the suspects at the earliest and said that action would be initiated against those found responsible without any discrimination.

Blame game between candidates

PTI candidate Ali Asjad and PML-N contender Syeda Nausheen blamed each others’ parties for instigating violence.

Asjad claimed that PML-N “could not stand losing” and so resorted to violence. Nausheen, on the other hand, claimed that people had witnessed armed men with PTI flags outside polling stations firing shots in the air and chanting party slogans, which also resulted in power lines breaking and falling down. “We have no arms,” she insisted.

Meanwhile, TLP’s chief polling agent Sahibzada Fazal Haq also claimed that his car was fired upon and his windows lie shattered.