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PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh arrested during Malir PS-88 by-election

Voting ends for Karachi, Sanghar, Pishin by-polls

SAMAA | , and - Posted: Feb 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 11 months ago
Posted: Feb 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 11 months ago

The polling for Malir's PS-88, Sanghar's PS-43, Pishin's PB-20 was held today, starting at 8am till 5pm.

Strict security arrangements were made as area residents came to polling stations to vote for their area representatives.

During the polling, different incidents of violence and chaos were reported.

Candidates fight outside Pishin polling station

At 2:50pm, a fight broke out between supporters of independent candidates in Pishin's PB-20 polling station in Karbala Shahi. The police have reached the site and are trying to resolve the matter.

Earlier, chaos was reported at the same polling station after a heated exchange between independent candidates Karim Agha and Abdul Rab. They had both reached the polling station at the same time.

Haleem Adil Sheikh detained for carrying weapons

At 2:30pm, PTI's Haleem Adil Sheikh was taken into police custody for displaying weapons during the Malir's PS-88 by-election.

The leader has been stopped from entering the constituency. He was taken away by the police in a car. PTI supporters climbed the car and chanted slogans in his favour

The Election Commission of Pakistan had issued orders to expel the leader from Karachi polling stations. According to the electoral body, it received complaints of Adil carrying and weapons at the stations. Following this, they took notice and ordered action.

The police have been instructed to ensure the leader is taken out of the voting area.

Earlier, PTI's Haleem Adil Sheikh said supporters of Pakistan Peoples Party opened fire at his car. "The bullets were fired in the presence of the police," he said.

According to Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur, an FIR has been registered against him at the Memon Goth police station. Four rifles, two kalashnikovs and a pistol were seized from Sheikh and his security guards.

The FIR includes sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

On the other hand, Sheikh said that this is a "conspiracy" against him. "They threatened PTI's workers at the polling stations, pushed them and stopped them from entering the station."

PPP, PTI workers clash in Karachi

At 12pm, a fight broke out between PPP and PTI workers in Karachi PS-88's polling station 77. Bullets were fired in the air by both party workers as well.

PTI leader Firdous Shamim said that carrying of weapons is clearly out of question during voting at polling stations. "I condemn it but action should be taken when PPP leaders do the same," he said.

PPP has written a letter to the ECP demanding an investigation against Sheikh. Voting at polling stations in Malir have been stopped. The deputy commissioner of the area has assured that it will resume in a few hours.

The schedule for the by-elections of the three constituencies was announced in December 2020. On December 17, 2020 the Election Commission of Pakistan decided to hold by-polls in eight constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies. The by-polls were delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Here's what we know about the Sindh and Balochistan constituencies and their contenders.

Malir's PS-88

The PS-88 Malir seat had fallen vacant on June 2, 2020 after the death of minister for human settlement Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, who had contracted coronavirus.

Baloch emerged victorious in 2018 General Election after bagging 22,000 votes. PTI's Muhammad Rizwan Khan was the runner up with 16, 386 votes.

This time a tough competition is expected between PPP, PTI, and MQM.

PPP has given its ticket to Baloch's son Yousuf Murtaza Baloch, while Jan Sher Junejo is contesting on PTI's ticket. Former MNA Sajid Ahmed is MQM's candidate for the by-election.

According to the ECP, a total of 145,627 voters have been registered in the constituency. At least 108 polling stations have been set up. Thirty-six polling stations have been declared "sensitive", while 33 "highly sensitive".

Sanghar's PS-43

Sanghar’s PS-43 seat fell vacant when PPP MPA Jam Madad Ali passed away because of Covid-19 on November 13, 2020. Ali won the seat after receiving 44,750 votes, while GDA's Jam Zulfiqar Ali Khan came in second with 28,945 votes.

The main contenders for the by-election are PPP's Nawabzada Jam Shabbir Ali Khan and PTI's Mushtaq Junejo.

Shabbir Ali Khan is defending his father's seat against a new entrant, who also has the support of GDA's Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi and PML-F.

The electoral body has set up 132 polling stations for the constituency's 157,200 registered voters. Thirty-seven stations have been declared "sensitive". At least 1,700 policemen and law enforcement officers have been deployed for security.

Pishin PB-20

The Pishin's PB-20 seat fell vacant when MPA Syed Fazal Agha, former Balochistan governor and former deputy chairman of Senate, died on May 20, 2020.

A total of 27 people are contesting the by-election. A tough competition is expected between the ruling BAP's Asmatullah Tareen, ANP's Syed Abdul Bari Agha, and JUI-F's Syed Azizullah.

Syed Jalil Ahmed of the Jamiat Nazriati, Rozi Khan of Jamaat-i-Islami, and Syed Mohammad of Pakistan Rah-i-Haq Party are also contesting.

As many as 99,849 voters have been registered, including 58,126 male voters and 41,723 female voters.

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