Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani
Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani

Pak Senate polls: Big blow to Imran Khan's PTI as former PM Gilani wins key seat in Islamabad

ANI | Updated: Mar 03, 2021 20:46 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 3 (ANI): The 11-party opposition alliance - Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) scored a major victory over Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the Senate polls as former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani won the hotly-contested general seat from Islamabad.
Gilani defeated PTI's Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
After the result was announced, Shaikh and Gilani shook hands and hugged each other. The news of Shaikh's defeat was told to him by Zain Qureshi -- who was the minister's polling agent, according to Geo News.
Official results announcing Gillani's victory will be announced later, sources said.
Geo ancherperson Shahzeb Khanzada termed it a "huge upset" for Imran Khan since he had personally campaigned for Shaikh and had managed to win over most of the government's allies.

Senior ministers of the government such as Fawad Chaudhry and Sheikh Rashid had earlier claimed that Shaikh would defeat the former prime minister easily.
Analyst Irshad Bhatti also said that it was "huge upset" for the government, adding that his earlier prediction that the former prime minister would lose has been proved wrong, Geo News further reported.
Moreover, senior analyst Mazhar Abbas claimed this development was a victory for former president Asif Ali Zardari and a loss for Imran Khan.
"It was Zardari who urged the PDM to delay the long march and contest the Senate elections," he said, adding that a no-confidence movement against the Prime Minister could be successful.
Meanwhile, according to Dawn, Abdul Qadir, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Muhammad Qasim, Palwasha Khan, Khalida Ateeb, Sarfaraz Bugti, Manzoor Ahmed and Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai have won the elections so far, as per unofficial and unverified results.
The polling for 37 seats of Pakistan's Senate came to a close at 5 pm and counting of votes is currently underway as a total of 78 candidates contesting from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad.
The polls were held after a long-drawn open ballot controversy that kept the ruling party and opposition in a war of words and a legal battle before the Supreme Court on Monday announced that the elections for the Upper House of the Parliament will be held through secret ballot, according to Article 226 of the Pakistan Constitution. (ANI)