Pakistan’s voting underway under tight security


Islamabad : Polling is underway in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections under tight security.

Support TwoCircles

Tight security is in place across the country with deployment of thousands of troops and hundreds and thousand of policemen as will as paramilitary forces.

Recent bomb blasts and suicide attacks have prompted the unprecedented security measures at thousands of sensitive areas especially in the tribal regions and parts of North West Frontier province (NWFP).

Polls for the general seats of 577 provincial assemblies are also under way on proportional representation basis after the general elections are held.

President Pervez Musharraf has said that “shoot-at-sight” order has been issued for those who will resort to killings and violence on polling day.

There have been minor incidents of violence in parts of the country before and after the polling started at 8 a.m. the polling will continue till 5 p.m. without ant break.

Major parties Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League (N), Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Mutahida Qaumi Movement, Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, Awami National Party are among 47 parties taking part in the elections.

An alliance of over 20 parties All Party Democratic Movement (APDM) is boycotting the election.

The election commission has, for the first time provided transparent ballot boxes and voter screens to make the polling process more transparent and fair.

The electoral rolls and the location of the polling stations have been posted on the Website of the Election Commission for the greater benefit of the candidates and the voters.

In all sixty four thousand one hundred seventy six polling stations have been set up across the country. Over five hundred seventy one thousand polling staff will supervise the conduct of the polling.

About two thousand two hundred fifty candidates are in the run for the election of two hundred sixty nine general seats of National Assembly, while the election on three seats has been postponed due to the deaths of candidates and security concerns.

About five thousand and eighty candidates are in the field for the contest of five hundred seventy general seats of the four provincial assemblies, while the election on four seats of Punjab and three of North West Frontier Province assemblies have been postponed.

Around 81 thousands troops and around four hundred thousands police men as well as paramilitary forces will be deployed across the country, the Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan has said.