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Pakistan election results: 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed's son Talha loses from Lahore

Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has been imprisoned since 2019 after being convicted in multiple terror cases. The Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML), believed to be a new face for Hafiz-controlled banned groups, nominated candidates for Thursday's elections.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Lahore Updated on: February 09, 2024 13:52 IST
Pakistan, Pakistan elections, Hafiz Saeed
Image Source : ANI (FILE) Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and mastermind of 26/11 attacks

Pakistan elections 2024: UN-proscribed terrorist and the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks Hafiz Saeed's son Talha Hafiz Saeed lost by a huge margin from Lahore's NA-122 constituency to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidate Latif Khosa, as per media reports, managing only 2,024 votes. The Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML), believed to be a new face of Hafiz's banned groups, took part in Thursday's elections.

Latif Khosa garnered 117,109 votes while Talha Saeed received only 2024 votes. Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique got 77907 votes, as per local media reports.

Notably, Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has been in jail since 2019 after being convicted for several years in multiple terror finance cases along with some other leaders of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the LeT, which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

A BBC Urdu report has said some of the candidates nominated by this organisation from different cities of Pakistan are those who are either relatives of Hafiz Saeed or have been associated with the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa or Milli Muslim League in the past. India had also taken note of reports of Saeed's son Talha contesting elections in Pakistan and said the "mainstreaming" of radical terror outfits in the neighbouring country is nothing new and that it has been part of its State policy for a long time.

Talha Saeed is considered the number two person in the LeT hierarchy, with his father being at the helm of the terror outfit. Pakistan has also listed LeT, JuD and its affiliated parties and institutions, including Khair Naas International Trust, Falah Insaniyat Foundation, Al-Anfal Trust, Khamtab Khalq Institution, Al-Dawwat Al-Arshad, Al-Hamad Trust, Al-Madinah Foundation and Mu'az bin Jabal Educational Trust, in the list of banned organisations.

However, JuD denied any affiliation with Saeed’s organisations. In the past, a few people associated with Jamaat-ud-Dawa tried to participate in the elections in 2018 from the 'Milli Muslim League' party, but the Election Commission of Pakistan banned the organisation and rejected its application for registration after opposition from the then government. 

Pakistan general elections

Incarcerated former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan's party on Friday claimed victory in the general elections while alleging that results were being delayed to rig the outcome. The Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf also asked Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, the favourite to win this year's elections, to concede defeat. The PML-N, however, rejected the demand and claimed that it was winning Thursday's elections.

There were dozens of parties in the fray but the main contest was among Khan's PTI, whose candidates are running as independents, former three-time premier Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

In a statement on X from the PTI official handle, the party stated that it won more than 150 NA seats out of 265 open for contest as per the data received in Form 45s, which are the primary source of election results at the lowest level and show the votes for each candidate at each polling station. A party must win 133 seats out of 265 being contested to form the next government.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif faced a shocking defeat in Mansehra, where he lost to independent candidate Shahzada Gastasap. However, he managed to defeat PTI-backed Yasmeen Rashid in Lahore's NA-130 by 55,981 votes. Official results of the Pakistan elections are expected to be announced on Friday, after some delays.

Pakistan authorities were moving at a snail's pace on Friday to announce the election results as the interior ministry attributed the delay to a “lack of communication, which was a result of preventive measures taken to ensure foolproof security”.

(with inputs from PTI)

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