Pakistan

GDA Leads Protest Against Alleged Election Rigging

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) orchestrated a massive protest sit-in today, Friday, at the Jamshoro Interchange along the M-9 Motorway, rallying against what they claim to be widespread election rigging during the 2024 elections. Led by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) chief Syed Sibgatullah, popularly known as Pir Pagara, the demonstration resulted in a complete suspension of transportation at the bypass linking the National Highway Road and the Karachi–Hyderabad Motorway in Hyderabad.

Amidst a sea of protesters, including a substantial representation of women from rural areas, the sit-in aimed to draw attention to the alleged irregularities in the recently concluded elections. Despite the clear purpose of the protest, the identity of the organizing group remains somewhat ambiguous at this time.

Eyewitnesses reported that the demonstrators took a notable step by offering Friday prayers right on the highway, underscoring the seriousness of their grievances. Meanwhile, reports on the extent of disruption caused by the protest and any potential intervention by authorities are still emerging.

The GDA had previously declared their intentions to protest against the alleged rigging in the elections during a press briefing earlier this week. Speaking at the press conference, PML-F chief Pir Pagara, who also heads the GDA alliance, accused the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of manipulating the electoral process to their advantage. He asserted that seats rightfully won by GDA, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were unfairly handed over to the PPP.

Pagara further alleged that the entirety of Sindh province had been practically ceded to Asif Ali Zardari, suggesting his influence in orchestrating the supposed rigging. In a bold move, he announced that GDA candidates elected to two provincial seats would refuse to take their oaths in protest against what they perceive as an injustice.

The protest at Jamshoro Interchange marks a significant escalation in the ongoing political tensions following the contentious election results. As the sit-in continues, the spotlight remains on the GDA’s demands for electoral transparency and accountability in Pakistan.

 

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