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Voting in Pakistan’s election concludes amidst violence

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Voting in Pakistan‘s election concluded on Thursday amidst sporadic violence and connectivity issues. The government had suspended mobile and internet services to prevent terror attacks. The polling started at 8.00 am and continued till 5.00 pm without any interruption. To facilitate the 128,585,760 registered voters, a countrywide public holiday was declared.
Although the voting time had officially ended, individuals present inside the polling stations were allowed to cast their votes.
Certain polling stations across the country experienced delays in the voting process. Additionally, there was a terror attack on security forces performing election duties, resulting in the unfortunate loss of four policemen.
The ballot boxes will be unsealed in the presence of candidates’ agents within the polling stations. The counting process will be supervised by the presiding officer of each polling station. Once the results are prepared, they will be publicly announced and displayed on the main gate of the polling station. Simultaneously, the results will be transmitted to the returning officer through the Election Management System. The returning officers will then tabulate the results and announce the final outcome.
It is expected that the results will begin to be announced before midnight, with most of them available by morning. The first result is anticipated to be declared after 6.30 pm.
The disruption of cellular and internet services throughout the country during the polls has raised concerns among political parties and cast doubts on the transparency of the voting process.
Approximately 650,000 security personnel have been deployed nationwide to ensure safety and security.
With former prime minister Imran Khan in jail, Nawaz Sharif‘s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is expected to emerge as the largest party in the elections.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates are contesting the polls independently after the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the election commission to deny his party the iconic election symbol of cricket ‘bat’.
Pakistan’s ongoing fight against terrorism, which has spanned over two decades, is facing new challenges as militant groups have resurged since 2021, following the Afghan Taliban‘s rise to power.
The new government will face significant challenges in dealing with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Baloch nationalists, who continue to pose a threat.

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