February 18, 2024
Pakistan General Elections amid by Controversy, Rigging Allegations, and Disruptions
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Pakistan General Elections amid by Controversy, Rigging Allegations, and Disruptions

Pakistan General Elections amid by Controversy, Rigging Allegations, and Disruptions

Pakistan General Elections amid by Controversy, Rigging Allegations, and Disruptions

Pakistan’s general elections concluded amid controversy and accusations of rigging, with cellular and internet services being shut down, as reported by Dawn on Thursday. The voting, which took place from 8 am to 5 pm, faced criticism for alleged irregularities, preventing some individuals from casting their votes.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had initially stated that exceptions for entry into polling stations would only be made for those already present. However, widespread allegations of rigging and voter suppression have marred the credibility of the electoral process.

In a significant development, the Federal Interior Ministry suspended mobile phone and internet services across the country on election day to maintain law and order. Internet monitoring by Netblocks revealed real-time data indicating internet blackouts in multiple regions, along with disruptions in mobile networks.

This move prompted strong criticism from major political parties, with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, calling for the immediate restoration of mobile phone services nationwide. Reports emerged of women voters being banned from casting their votes in a village in the Swabi district, drawing further attention to alleged voting irregularities.

Tragically, two children lost their lives in a blast near a polling station in Washbood Panjgur, leading to the suspension of polling at the Government High School Malik Abad polling station.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) alleged irregularities in the NA-236 constituency, accusing authorities of deliberately creating obstacles. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Sindh rejected reports of voting delays, asserting that the process in NA-236’s Abul Hasan Isfahani Road was proceeding without interruption.

Amidst these challenges, the PTI called for an extension of the voting time, while the former ruling party decided to formally request an extension from the Election Commission.

Prominent leaders, including PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, President Shehbaz Sharif, and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, cast their votes. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan and other incarcerated political leaders voted through postal ballots from Adiala Jail.

Election day operations faced delays across the country due to technical and logistical obstacles, hindering the commencement of the electoral process.

Balochistan’s Caretaker Information Minister, Jan Achakzai, announced that election results for Balochistan would be delivered later in the evening on Thursday.

Political violence escalated before election day, with two blasts in Balochistan killing at least 30 people and injuring 40 others. Additionally, Pakistan’s caretaker administration, led by Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, has been criticized for failing to address the country’s economic dysfunction amid growing debt and inflation. The incoming administration will likely confront significant challenges, considering the impending expiration of the IMF bailout agreement in March, as highlighted in a recent World Bank report on Pakistan’s economic development.

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Asif Iqbal is a seasoned news writer with a passion for delivering the latest updates to the public. Currently serving as the senior writer at VoM News, a prominent news outlet known for its comprehensive coverage of diverse topics, Asif has established himself as a reliable source of information. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, he consistently provides readers with well-crafted articles that cover a wide range of news categories. His dedication to journalistic integrity and his commitment to staying ahead of the news curve make him an invaluable asset to Vom News, ensuring that readers are always well-informed on the issues that matter most. You can find his work and stay updated on current events by visiting vomnews.in.

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