Now Reading: PM Imran Khan Angry at Shehryar Afridi for Wasting Senate Vote
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan was furious with Shehryar Afridi, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, after his vote was thrown out because he signed the ballot paper incorrectly. “You are an MNA. How can you make a mistake like this?” the prime minister reportedly told Afridi. “Everyone was informed about the voting procedure [beforehand]. You shouldn’t have made a mistake like this,” a furious PM Imran Khan added.
As per reports, the prime minister was not at all satisfied with the response that the PTI leader gave him. Previously, sources had claimed that Afridi’s vote would be wasted most likely as he signed the ballot paper before actually casting it.
Afridi had written to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) presiding officer, requesting that he be allowed to recast his vote. “It is submitted that I have been feeling unwell for the past few days and couldn’t attend the meetings of the party for preparations of elections,” he said. The ECP staff failed to guide the PTI leader when he arrived at the parliament, according to the PTI leader.
“When I approached you to cast my vote I asked you and your staff but they failed to guide me. Later, I put my signature on the ballot papers instead of putting numbers. Therefore, I may be allowed to recast my vote,” he further stated. Similarly, before Afridi, former president Asif Ali Zardari had also accidentally wasted his vote, however, the ballot paper was later re-issued to him.
Shehryar Afridi Claims Reports to be False
Speaking to a private media outlet, Afridi said that there is no truth to the reports claiming that PM Imran Khan is furious with him. “When I told the prime minister about the ballot papers, he directed me to write to the returning officer [to allow him to re-cast his vote],” he revealed. Afridi stated that PM Imran Khan did not doubt his loyalty. “The prime minister told me that I am his most trusted companion,” he added.
Polling for the Senate elections were underway from 9am to 5pm on Wednesday. Lawmakers cast ballots in one of the country’s most hotly contested Senate elections, in which electoral process transparency has become a major issue.
After a hotly contested electoral battle though, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani emerged victorious in a massively shocking upset against the ruling party’s Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday. The result’s announcement was followed with Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and the former prime minister shaking hands and embracing each other. The news of Hafeez’s defeat was told to him by his polling agent i.e. Zain Qureshi.
PTI Leaders React To Yousaf Raza Gilani’s Shocking Upset
Prompting a reaction from PTI leaders, this massively shocking upset tilted the ruling party. As such, all the PTI leaders have rejected the results, claiming the elections to be unfair.
Faisal Javed Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) congratulated Fauzia Arshad of the PTI on her 174-vote victory in the Senate election, saying that her victory margin demonstrated that “there was clear horse-trading on the men’s seat.” The PTI leader claimed that due to horse trading being rampant, an investigation is demanded. “May ALLAH help Imran Khan eliminate corruption from this country,” he added.
Horse trading at its peak. Must be investigated and justice must be served. May ALLAH help Imran Khan eliminate corruption from this country.
We are with you Imran Khan – You are sole fighter against corruption and you will win insha'ALLAH
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) March 3, 2021
Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan reacted to Shaikh’s loss by saying that, “Money won…Democracy lost. Gilani’s victory is in fact a defeat for democratic values.”
نوٹوں کی چمک جیت گئی ۔۔۔ جمہوریت ہار گئی۔
گیلانی کی جیت دراصل جمہوری اقدار کی ہار ہے۔
— Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan (@Dr_FirdousPTI) March 3, 2021
Similarly, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that the Opposition must prove that it has a majority in the National Assembly, or else embrace its “crime” of having “bought the election”. “Imran Khan has given them a big challenge by deciding to take a vote of confidence,” he added.
عمران خان نے آج اعتماد کے ووٹ کا فیصلہ کر کے بڑا چیلنج دیا ہے، چوہوں کی طرح حکومت نہیں کریں گے اپوزیشن اب اپنی اکثریت ثابت کر ے ورنہ الیکشن خریدنے کا جرم قبول کر یں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 3, 2021
“Those who plunder the wealth of the poor people and buy seats of the Senate with this money, then celebrate about it not only have dead consciences but are also shameless. Thank you for proving that Imran Khan’s narrative is right once again,” Federal minister Murad Saeed said.
غریب عوام کی دولت لوٹ کر ان پیسوں سے سینٹ کی ایک سیٹ خرید کر اس پر جشن منانے والے نہ صرف مردہ ضمیر بلکہ بے شرم ہیں ۔ عمران خان کا موقف ایک دفعہ پھر درست ثابت کرنے کے لئے شکریہ
— Murad Saeed (@MuradSaeedPTI) March 3, 2021
Contrary to PTI leaders’ dismay, the opposition has rejoiced on this upset. Just shortly after the announcement of his victory in the Senate election, Yousaf Raza Gilani held a press conference and stated that he is thankful to the PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as well as the PDM leadership, including PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Akhtar Mengal, Maryam Nawaz, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and ANP leadership, among others.
“This is the victory of democracy,” he stated. “The Islamabad seat was the most important seat in the Senate elections and everyone was eyeing it. [Through my win], the PDM has been victorious.”
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari echoed Gilani’s point, saying that the PDM won through MNA votes, which is also a win for Pakistan. He went on to say that Prime Minister Imran Khan should “resign from his post,” as well as adopt sportsmanship and accept defeat with dignity. “The PDM will decide a future course of action after mutual consultation with all members,” he added.
Previously, the PPP chief had tweeted that “Democracy is the best revenge”.
Democracy is the best revenge. Jeya Bhutto!
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 3, 2021
Similarly, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz also celebrated Gilani’s victory, urging PM Imran Khan to resign and “leave the PM’s seat”.