PTI-Backed candidate defeats Hafiz Saeed’s son in Pakistan elections

Khosa secured a staggering 117,109 votes, overshadowing Talha Saeed’s mere 2024 votes.

| Updated: 09 February, 2024 5:55 pm IST
Hafiz Saeed's son ‘loses’ to Imran Khan's candidate

NEW DELHI: Latif Khosa, supported by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), clinched victory over Talha Saeed, son of UN-proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed, in Lahore’s NA 122 constituency, in the Pakistan’s general elections.

Khosa secured a staggering 117,109 votes, overshadowing Talha Saeed’s mere 2024 votes. The election also witnessed Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique securing 77,907 votes, as per local media reports.

Muhammad Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has been designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations. Despite his incarceration in Lahore and a cumulative sentence of 31 years from Pakistan’s anti-terrorism courts, his influence was palpable as his son Talha Saeed contested the elections under the banner of the Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML), a political entity affiliated with his father’s ideology.

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The election results signal a blow to the PMML’s aspirations, underscoring the rejection of radical elements in Pakistani politics. It also highlights the prevailing political landscape, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) making significant strides.

Meanwhile, the delay in the release of election results, attributed to connectivity issues by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, has raised concerns. Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has intervened, instructing immediate result declaration to ensure transparency and accountability in the electoral process.

ALSO READ: Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan, wife, handed 14-year sentence in state gifts scandal

The broader electoral outcome saw Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) securing 12 seats, while Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) emerged victorious in 11 seats. Independent candidates supported by Imran Khan’s PTI clinched 9 seats, compensating for Khan’s disqualification from contesting the elections due to criminal convictions.

Key figures from the political landscape, including Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz of PML-N, celebrated victories in their respective constituencies, signaling a complex political dynamic amidst evolving electoral trends.

The participation of individuals associated with banned terrorist groups in mainstream politics remains a contentious issue. Candidates linked to the PMML, many of whom have ties to extremist organisations like LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, evoke concerns regarding the legitimisation of radical ideologies within the political sphere.

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