The MQM swept the by-polls in Karachi, retaining National Assembly seat NA-246 and beating its main contenders with a huge margin. The polls, followed by weeks of extreme frenzy, however showed a shift in the political demography of the constituency as the PTI replaced the JI as the second-most strong power in the area.
According to unofficial and unconfirmed results from the total 213 polling stations, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) candidate Kanwar Naveed Jamil led the polls with 93,125 votes.
Imran Ismail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was second with 22,885 votes while Jamat-e-Islami’s Rashid Naseem was third by securing over 8,000 votes.
For the first time in the country’s electoral history, closed circuit cameras were installed at the polling points, besides deployment of law enforcement personnel in and outside the polling stations.
The Election Commission of Pakistan was yet to announce the results but PTI candidate Imran Ismail said his party, which contested the election with a promise of change and freeing the people of the area of MQM’s ‘fear’, will accept the results.
In the vote count, the MQM gained visible win at majority of the polling booths while at few stations PTI and JI secured higher number of votes.
Earlier during the polling, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi reached at PTI camp and took PTI candidate Imran Ismail to MQM election camp in the same locality where both the leaders had tea together.
Charged MQM activists got violent and set the PTI party flags on fire while law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot.
PTI leader Shireen Mazari tweeted in the evening: Shameful behaviour by MQM attacking PTI office, ripping our flexes and flag! Such fascist behaviour after a relatively peaceful election. In another tweet later at night, she said: MQM is Pakistan’s equivalent of Nazi party.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain while talking to TV channels congratulated the supporters on the party’s victory. Lauding the efforts of the MQM workers, he said they were ‘much brave’ as compared to those of the other parties and they had brought the people out of the homes for voting resulting in a good turnout.
Several people were arrested after the clash in which a PTI flag was torched and its camp office was surrounded by reportedly angry MQM activists. Several PTI workers and supporters were trapped inside the camp.
MQM’s win was expected but after raid on nine zero, PTI and Jamat e Islami were pretty sure that MQM is not going to take NA 246 seat but it happened vice versa. It was considered the most powerful constituency of MQM as it was Altaf Hussain’s constituency.
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