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PTI boycotts Senate polls in Sindh

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KARACHI: The PTI has announced its boycott of the upcoming Senate polls in Sindh in protest against alleged rigging in the February 8 general elections. The party has also unveiled plans to stage a massive rally in Karachi on April 28.

Addressing a press conference in Sindh’s provincial capital, PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh said the party would not participate in elections held in an assembly formed through rigged elections.

Sheikh also claimed that during by-elections in Sindh, PTI candidates were abducted in an attempt to prevent them from participating in the election race.

According to the PTI leader, a returning officer (RO) rejected the nomination papers of the PTI candidate who wanted to contest a by-election at NA-207 seat in Shaheed Benazirabad against PPP’s candidate Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari.

“Our candidate was later abducted when he was going to the election tribunal to challenge the RO’s decision,” he said, adding that if Aseefa—the youngest daughter of PPP’s slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto—were truly an image of her mother, she would win the election after contesting it.

On March 29, Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari was elected unopposed as a Member National Assembly (MNA) after all opposing candidates withdrew their nomination papers. Aseefa clinched the NA-207 Shaheed Benazirabad-I seat, which had been vacant following her father Asif Ali Zardari’s election as president.

Haleem Adil Sheikh said the PTI had won on February 8 but was defeated through rigging on February 9. “We don’t want to be part of this corrupt system. Our candidate will not participate in the Senate polls from Sindh now,” he said.

He announced that his party would not allow other parties, particularly the PPP, to enjoy a rule based on a stolen election and would launch a protest movement in the coming days. “On April 28, we will hold a public rally in Karachi. We will not strike a deal with this illegal government,” he added.