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Amir Dogar defeats Javed Hashmi in Multan by-election

17 October, 2014

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MULTAN: Independent candidate from Multan constituency NA-149 Amir Dogar with backing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday defeated former PTI president Javed Hashmi in a supposedly decisive and historic power battle.

As per unofficial and inconclusive results, Dogar locked in his win by a difference of more than 11,000 votes.

As per the unofficial and inconclusive results, Dogar led the race with 58,142 votes while Javed Hashmi was in the second place with 47,222 votes.

After listening to the initial election results, Hashmi said that he would accept his defeat if results came against him.

"If I have been defeated, I will accept the decision with an open heart," Hashmi said while talking to the media. The senior politician said that he would congratulate his opponent Amir Dogar if he wins the election.

Hashmi said that he failed to hold effective election campaign due to his illness, and added that he would be visiting China for medical treatment. Dispelling the impression that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supported him, Hashmi said that the ruling party didn't extend "direct support" to him.

Reiterating his stance, Hashmi said the paths that Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan were on for bringing change would only lead to destruction. "Governments cannot be changed through containers," he added.

On the other hand, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the rabbit (election symbol of Dogar) had eaten the tiger (the political emblem of the ruling PML-N).

Talking to a private news channel, he gave a big round of applause to the voters as well workers for making the by-polls a phenomenal contribution.

"Bravo! I can't thank you enough for sparing time to cast vote for the PTI. I would also like to salute women voters for getting out of their homes and voting for the change," Qureshi said. He also received congratulatory phone call from PTI Chairman Imran Khan. He said that Multan changed the politics of the entire country.

Flanked by Qureshi, Amir Dogar announced that he would be joining the PTI. Talking to the media, Dogar thanked the PTI leadership for their support, and the PTI workers for placing their trust in him. "I thank people of NA-149 for electing me with such a heavy mandate," said Dogar. He added that the result was not just the defeat of Hashmi, but also the defeat of the rulers. "Despite using all the government machinery, the Punjab government was not able to woo voters."

Earlier, ruckus and chaos erupted when the PTI and PML-N workers at polling station in Shamsabad faced off with each other during polling for NA-149 by-polls. Extra contingent of police and Rangers had been called in shortly after both entered a scuffle. Polling was also halted for some time.

Activists of the PTI and PML-N chanted slogans and accused each other of rigging.

Some of the activists were wielding batons, however police controlled the situation. Police said the polling had resumed and situation was brought under control after extra contingents of law enforcers were summoned. An officer told that a woman voter misbehaved with a presiding officer that lead to disorder in the polling station.


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