MULTAN (APS) – Election commision of Pakistan (ECP) rejected Punjab government s plea to delay by-polls of constituency NA-149 today and said the elections would be conducted on the set date that is November 16, APS News reported.
Punjab government had requested ECP) to delay by-polls of constituency NA-149 of Multan as the situation is not conducive on Monday.
According to the sources, Punjab government has stated the law and order situation may disrupt during the by-elections of NA-149 in the wake of Multan tragedy that took 7 lives in a stampede later to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Multan rally; the by-polls should therefore be delayed for a few days.
The provincial election commission has opposed Punjab government’s request stating the by-elections should not be delayed but the final verdict resides with ECP, sources add.
ECP, however, has accepted the request to deploy Rangers at the election sites.
In the context: Stampede claimed 7 lives in Multan and left several injured and unconscious immediately after the PTI public meeting ended in the Multan Stadium. Thousands of workers tried to get out of the stadium immediately after the gathering ended due to which 7 workers of the party died of suffocation and several others went unconscious and injured.
Volunteers shifted the injured and dead bodies to Nishter Hospital, Multan. Sources claim that there were around 80,000 people present in the meeting but there was only one gate for the entrance and exit of the workers. Injured in large numbers are still present outside the stadium while the volunteer teams are giving them medical help.
PTI spokesperson Shirien Mazari said that the incompetence of the district administration caused the incident. “We pleaded before Elite Force to get the stage vacated but they did not listen to us”, she said. She said that even lives of the PTI leaders were threatened.
Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad admitted that the arrangements for the gathering were not good. He said that he reached the stage by climbing on a pole. He said that loss of 7 lives is not a routine incident and PTI leadership will surely take notice of it. He said that there were more people than expected. “I told Imran Khan that the crowd is huge and the conditions are not right”, AML leader said.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has ordered inquiry into the matter and has directed the administration to provide all the medical facilities to the injured.