Claim: The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) has written a letter to the ECP refusing to take reserved seats in Pakistan’s legislative assemblies.

Fact: The SIC’s letter is a response to the ECP, addressing their request for details of tickets issued to women on general seats. In the letter, the SIC stated that the list of women candidates does not exist as no candidate contested the election with the symbol of their party.

The SIC did not refuse to accept reserved seats for women or deny their share of reserved seats in the parliament. 

On 28 February 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user Nusrullah Goraya (@NusrullahGoraya) posted a photo of a letter claiming that the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) “wrote a letter to the Election Commission” saying that,  “we do not want reserved seats” in the provincial and national assemblies. 

Reserved seats

Following the 8 February general election, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced an alliance with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM).

In a bid to get reserved seats for women and minorities in the assemblies, the majority of PTI-backed independent candidates who won seats in the national and provincial assemblies officially joined the SIC on 21 February 2024 by submitting affidavits to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). A total of 89 MNAs, 85 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 106 members of the Punjab Assembly, and nine members of the Sindh Assembly submitted their affidavits. Barrister Gohar Khan, Omer Ayub and Ali Amin Gandapur were among the three leaders of the PTI who did not submit affidavits, while the notification of one candidate, Dawar Kundi, was pending from the ECP.

However, the SIC itself does not have a single seat in the parliament. The party’s leader, Sahibzada Muhammad Hamid Raza, won the election as an independent candidate from NA-104 Faisalabad.

On 28 February, Pakistan’s election body reserved its judgement on petitions from the SIC, which sought reserved seats for women and religious minorities in the National Assembly. According to the results issued by the ECP, independent candidates backed by the PTI won 93 of the 264 seats, the most number of seats in the National Assembly. However, as a court ruling in January had forced PTI’s candidates to contest independently, the party was unable to form a government or access reserved seats.

The National Assembly’s inaugural session took place on 29 February, while the PTI had warned against convening any session before reserved seats are officially notified. The ECP has heard petitions regarding reserved seats from various parties, including Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan. The SIC, too, has argued for its right to reserved seats, while PTI’s rivals have contested its parliamentary status. On 4 March, the ECP rejected the SIC’s plea seeking the allocation of reserved seats in the national and three provincial assemblies: Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false. Sahibzada Hamid Raza, SIC Chairman, clarified via a tweet on X, that the letter being referred to in viral posts is a response to “the Election Commission’s letter of February 23”.

“Now, can someone explain to me where we have talked about not taking reserved seats for women,” he added, questioning the viral claims.

According to the image of the letter tweeted by Raza, the SIC responded to the ECP saying that, “since no candidate contested in the General Elections 2024 on the symbol of Sunni Ittehad Council, therefore, the list regarding women candidates does not exist, hence not submitted”. 

In another tweet, Raza shared a photo of a letter from the ECP addressed to the SIC dated 23 February, in which they requested a response by 26 February. In his tweet, Raza explains that the letter asked for details of tickets issued to women on general seats for the 8 February election, and warned that failure to provide these details may result in disciplinary action against SIC. He added, “we have also replied to the same letter which is related to the general election.” 

The letter from the ECP refers to the implementation of Section 206 of the Elections Act, 2017, which mandates political parties to select candidates for elective offices transparently and democratically, ensuring at least five percent representation of female candidates. According to the same letter, the ECP issued a press release on 14 January, highlighting this requirement. 

Furthermore, the letter also urges compliance with Section 206 and requests the submission of a list of female candidates within three days to avoid potential proceedings under Section 215 (1) regarding eligibility to obtain election symbols. 

PTI’s official account on X also issued a clarification, explaining that the SIC’s response has been misinterpreted while citing a statement made by their lawyer, Barrister Abuzar Salman Niazi on 92 News. In the video clip of the lawyer’s interview, tweeted by @PTIofficial, he says that the SIC-written letter circulating on social media does not pertain to reserved seats, and goes on to confirm that the letter is a response to the ECP’s inquiry about allocating five percent of tickets to women in the general elections.

Hence, Soch Fact Check concludes that a letter from the SIC regarding general seats for women is being misrepresented as evidence of the SIC denying reserved seats for women.


The claim can be found here, here, here and here on X. The letter was also posted by journalist Mubashir Zaidi (@xadeejourno) who implied that religious parties have often deceived Imran Khan.

Dunya News also published the false claim in a news story titled, “Sunni Ittehad Council ‘declines’ to take reserved seats.”

On Facebook, the letter was shared with the false claim here and here.

Conclusion: The Sunni Ittehad Council has not written a letter to the ECP refusing to accept reserved seats in Pakistan’s legislative assemblies. The SIC’s letter to the ECP specifically addresses general seats for women and not reserved seats. 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x