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Pakistan votes to elect new government, mobile phone service suspended

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Pakistan votes to elect new government, mobile phone service suspended
Pakistan votes to elect new government, mobile phone service suspended

Pakistani voters will seal the fates of 17,816 candidates on Thursday (February 8, 2024) because the nation, roiled by an financial disaster, is witnessing a neck-to-neck contest between previous dynastic rulers with former Prime Minister Imran Khan locked in a jail.

Pakistan votes to elect new government, mobile phone service suspended
Pakistani flags. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Casting of ballots, which began at 8am, will shut at 5pm.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which is supposedly backed by the highly effective navy, is predicted to emerge as the one largest social gathering within the election that has been delayed by months.

With Pakistan witnessing an uptick in terror assaults in current months, safety has been beefed up throughout polling stations within the nation.

“Along with 6,500 personnel of Islamabad police, 1,000 FC, 1,500 Rangers and Pakistan Army personnel are performing their duties within the federal capital,” Islamabad Police mentioned, as quoted by Dawn News.

Internet suspended

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has determined to ‘quickly droop mobile companies throughout the nation’ amid a ‘deteriorating scenario’.

In an announcement, the ministry was quoted as saying by Dawn News, mentioned: “Recent surge in terrorist actions leading to treasured lives have stirred the safety surroundings within the nation.”

Former PPP senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar criticised the transfer and posted on X: “Shutting down mobile networks on polling day is the start of election day rigging. Pre-poll surroundings was already one of many worst in Pak’s historical past. Cutting candidates off from their brokers and workers on election day is unacceptable. How’s one suppose to maintain a test and spotlight any irregularity? By the time information comes out election would have been stolen.”

Key contestants

Pakistan’s former PM Nawaz Sharif is eyeing his fourth time period and enjoys a stronghold in Punjab province the place his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) social gathering earned appreciation for mega infrastructure initiatives.

He is dealing with a key problem from 35-year-old Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He is the son of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Imran Khan issue

Former Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who was ousted from energy in 2022, is at the moment in jail on a number of convictions.

His PTI, which was as soon as a robust political outfit within the nation, has been prohibited from utilizing its well-known cricket bat image on ballots.

Despite being unable to battle the ballot, Khan has voted by means of a postal poll from Adiala Jail, sources instructed Dawn News.

Under his management, PTI had received the final basic polls.

UN rights workplace voices concern forward of elections in Pakistan

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Volker Türk has urged authorities in Pakistan to be sure that parliamentary elections this week are free and honest, his workplace, OHCHR, mentioned on Tuesday (February 6, 2024).

OHCHR denounced all acts of violence towards political events and candidates within the lead-up to Thursday’s vote.

Spokesperson Liz Throssell mentioned there have been a minimum of 24 reported cases through which armed teams have staged assaults towards members of political events.

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