KARACHI/ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – At least three police officers were killed during a protest against alleged rigging in Feb. 8 Pakistan polls in North Waziristan tribal district on Saturday, state media reported, while the candidate’s party claimed that the fire was opened by security forces.
The state-run Pakistan TV reported that supporters of former lawmaker Mohsin Dawar, who contested a constituency from North Waziristan, allegedly fired at an army camp in Miranshah, the district headquarters, killing three policemen.
Dawar’s party, the National Democratic Movement, said in a statement that the former lawmaker along with several supporters was also injured in a “firing incident” in North Waziristan, while on their way to local election commission’s office to lodge protest against alleged rigging in his constituency.
“Chairman Mohsin Dawar has been injured along with 6-8 other members of our party National Democratic Movement in North Waziristan. Security forces opened firing on Mohsin. He was not being allowed to go to the RO (polling officer) which is in Miranshah Cantonment,” the statement claimed.
On Friday, at least two supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party were killed in the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during a clash with police when they were protesting against the alleged rigging in the election.
Several political parties are protesting against alleged rigging in the crucial polls, with many results already challenged in the courts.
An independent candidate, who lost against former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, has challenged the vote outcome, seeking recount.
Gilani, a senior PPP leader, who served as the prime minister from 2008 to 2012, has won from his hometown, northeastern Multan city, with a margin of a few hundred votes.
In other instances, some results have been challenged in courts.
Delayed results and suspension of mobile networks on election day have prompted allegations of fraud and calls for protests. The election commission has been accused of manipulating the results, a charge denied by the authority.
The independents supported by the PTI are ahead of two major parties, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party and three-time ex-Premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The Election Commission of Pakistan announced provisional results of 253 out of 265 direct seats of the lower house, the National Assembly. The independents, mostly backed by the PTI, have won 99 seats, followed by the PML-N getting 73, and PPP grabbing 53.
Commonwealth Observers Group, which visited several polling stations on Feb. 8, declared the elections “peaceful.”
Addressing a press conference in the capital Islamabad on Saturday, the group’s chairperson, Goodluck Jonathan congratulated the government and people of Pakistan for holding the polls.