Elections 2018: Voting underway across the country amid tight security

Source:  ARY News Published in Current Affairs on Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Pakistan is set to decide its fate for the next five years as citizens of the country are thronging polling stations to vote for third consecutive General Election today.

The polling has begun countrywide at scheduled time at 8:00am and will continue without break till 6:00 pm.

All Pakistani citizens, above 18 years age, are casting their votes to elect their representatives for the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has registered 105 million voters countrywide including 59,224,262 males and 46,731,145 females for the elections. Voters turnout will be crucial in the polling, as unlike in the past, turnout has been quite low in the past polls with highest 64 per cent last recorded in the 1970 elections.


2:48pm : PML-N urges ECP to extend polling time by an hour

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed has written to the ECP to extend polling time by an hour due to slow polling process at “almost all constituencies of Pakistan”.

2:40pm : Caretaker PM Mulk casts vote in Swat

Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk traveled to his hometown of Swat from Islamabad to cast his ballot.

He cast his vote at Primary School Gulkada polling station in Swat.

2:38pm : Five hours on, Voting yet to begin at a polling station in Sialkot

In a government school of Gulbahar in Sialkot, polling is yet to start with a delay of more than five hours.

According to details, the delay in polling was resulted as polling stamp could not reach the polling station. However, the constituency is not yet clear.

It may be noted here that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Firdous Ashiq Awan is contesting polls from Sialkot’s NA-72.

2:15pm : Polling continues in South Waziristan without any disruption

South Waziristan is witnessing a peaceful polling process in all of its three National Assembly constituencies – NA-48, NA-49 and NA-50.

It is reported that the turnout is comparatively good in all the polling stations where female voters are also taking part in the polling process.

Take a look: A look at political heavyweights, involved in interesting electoral fights


2:07pm : Woman among 7 arrested for possessing fake Form 45

Police arrested seven people, a woman among them, in NA-239, Karachi, after Form 45 (which will be used for collecting tabulated results of the polling station) was found from their possession.

1:57pm : EU delegation visits NA-53

A delegation of observes from European Opinion visited several polling stations in Islamabad’s NA-53 constituency.

The chief observer of the delegation expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements done by the Election Commission of Pakistan for a ‘free and fair’conduct of the general election in Pakistan.

1:50pm : ECP takes notice of candidates talking to media

The Election Commission of Pakistan has taken notice of various electoral candidates’ media talk.

In a statement, the commission said it is violation of its code of conduct. A number of political leaders, including PTI chief Imran Khan, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto spoke to reporters after casting votes in their respective constituencies.

1:38pm : Former army chief Raheel Sharif casts his vote

Former chief of army staff General (retd) Raheel Sharif has cast his ballot.

Raheel SharifRaheel Sharif

1:22pm : ‘Shahbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif’ cast their vote in Rajanpur

Two brothers named Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif (namesake of PML-N supremo and the president), cast their vote in Rajanpur (NA-194) today.

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They attracted mediamen after it transpired that the two brothers were namesakes of the former premier and former chief minister of Punjab.

They say their father named them after top PML-N leaders because of their support and love to Sharif brothers.

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Will Pakistan witness a historic turnout today?

Voter turnout pakistan elections 2018

1:10pm: Undeterred by blast, people flock polling stations in Quetta

The polling process has recommenced at the reconstructed polling station near Eastern Bypass, after a blast that took lives of nearly 24 people and injured several at the very station.

People are gradually gathering at the station to cast their votes. Under the supervision of security forces the polling process has started again.

Elections 2018

12:55pm: In a first, Upper Dir women break electoral ceiling

A large number of women could be seen making a beeline to polling booths in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Upper Dir district to exercise their right to vote.

Women were barred from voting in the previous election, forcing lawmakers to introduce a clause in the Election Act to make their participation in the electoral process mandatory. Long queues of women could be seen in NA-5 and PK-12 constituencies.

The ECP is required to declare void election in a constituency if the votes cast by women are less than 10 per cent of the total votes cast in the constituency.

12:49pm: Farooq Sattar raises question on  ECP’s transparency

MQM-P leader Dr. Farooq Sattar leveled allegations against Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for not being impartial. He gave these remarks when his polling station was changed to a school in PIB colony without any prior information. Sattar alleged that such instance is an act of rigging because transferring more than four thousand votes of NA-245 from Ghousia school to another school, situated two kilometers away, will cause trouble for voters.

Elections 2018

12:45pm: CEC visits slow down polling process a bit

Chief Election Commissioner paid visits to different polling stations in Islamabad. Our correspondent reports from Islamabad that the polling process slowed down a bit during CEC visit.

Polling station officers began briefing the CEC about arrangements, prompting voters to wait until the chief election commissioner left the spot.

Elections 2018

12:35pm: Man confiscates voters’ CNICs in NA-163

A man identified as Zaman allegedly allured voters in Kachi Pakki area of Vehari and confiscated their Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC). The incident took place in the constituency of NA-163 of Vehari

elections 2018

12:15pm: Bilawal casts vote in Larkana

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari cast his ballot in NA-200, Larkana, a national constituency he is contesting from.

Speaking to media on the occasion, he said today is an opportunity to elect our leadership and urged voters to come out to exercise their right to franchise.

A tough contest is expected between the PPP leader and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Rashid Soomro who also enjoys the support of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). 

12:05pm: Two fake poll officers held in Chaman

Two people pretending to be assistant presiding officers were arrested in Chaman. The law enforcement agencies apprehended the two from Polling Station No-181 located in Qila Abdullah district.

In a similar incident, three suspects were arrested from another polling station and three Kalashnikov along with a dagger were confiscated from them. A case has been booked against the three accused.

11:55am: Women boycott election in NA-150

As people throng polling stations in their respective constituencies across the country to exercise their right to franchise, women didn’t come out to cast their ballots in Mohri Pur, a small town in NA-150, Kabirwala.

The turnout at the polling stations set up for women in the area remained poor this morning as the election staff was seen waiting for voters.

According to the Election Act 2017, the ECP is required to declare void election in a constituency if the votes cast by women are less than 10 per cent of the total votes cast in the constituency.Women

11:45am: Imran Khan casts vote in NA-53

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan cast his vote at Dhoke Jilani polling station. Speaking to newsmen on the occasion, he urged that people should come out and vote against those who maintained the status quo.

“It is very crucial election in the history of Pakistan,” he said while underlining the importance of duty to vote. About the results of the election, Khan prayed: “Whoever is better for the country may win.”

11:35am: CJP Nisar casts vote

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar just cast his ballot at a polling station in Lahore.

After casting vote, he headed towards to the Supreme Court registry in the provincial capital where he will take up cases today despite a holiday announced by the ECP on account of the general elections.

11:25am (Blast Update)22 dead, 28 injured in Quetta  explosion

At least 22 people were killed and 28 others injured in a bomb blast in the Eastern Bypass area of Quetta this morning.

Sources at the Civil Hospital, Quetta confirmed that 22 people have died in the explosion while 28 others wounded. The blast is said to have occurred outside a polling station in NA-260.

Police and rescue teams have reached the blast site and are shifting the deceased and the injured to a nearby medical facility.

11:15am: President Mamnoon casts his ballot

President Mamnoon Hussain cast his vote at a Karachi polling station. After the general elections, the presidential elections are due in Pakistan on or before 10 August 2018. Mamnoon Hussain is the 12th head of state.

11:05am: 4 dead, 16 injured in Quetta  blast

At least four people were killed and 16 others injured in a bomb blast in the Eastern Bypass area of Quetta.

The blast is said to have occurred outside a polling station in NA-260.

Police and rescue teams have reached the blast site and are shifting the deceased and the injured to a nearby medical facility.

10:55am: Mustafa Kamal casts vote

Chairman of the newly-formed Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Mustafa Kamal cast his vote in Karachi.

The PSP is taking part in the electoral fray for the first time.  An interesting contest is expected between the PSP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) in NA-253, Karachi Central-I.

10:45am: Farooq Sattar casts his vote

Former MQM-P convener Farooq Sattar reached National School in PIB colony to cast his vote. His wife accompanied him to the polling station where she also cast her vote.

He expressed confidence that he would win NA-247 election by beating PTI’s Arif Alvi and other candidates in Karachi.Farooq Sattar

10:35am: 4 injured in cracker attack near PPP camp in Larkana

Four people were reportedly injured when a cracker was hurled at Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) camp outside Shah Muhammad Primary School polling station in NA-200, Larkana.

The polling process came to a halt as a result of the incident. The injured were shifted to a hospital.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is contesting from this constituency. A tough contest is expected between the PPP leader and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Rashid Soomro who also enjoys the support of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). 

10:25am: PTI worker killed in Swabi firing

In a first gloomy incident on the election day, a person was killed when workers of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Awami National Party (ANP) exchanged fire in Swabi district’s Nawa Kili area.

Police said the deceased is a PTI worker whose identity could not be ascertained immediately. Three other people were also injured who have been shifted to a nearby medical facility for treatment.  

10:15am: ECP secretary visits complaint cell

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Babar Yaqoob visited a complaint cell in Islamabad this morning to inspect arrangements there.

Talking to reporters, he said all election-related complaints received from voters will be addressed by the cell. He said the Commission is an independent and responsible institution. 

10:05am: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman casts vote

Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman cast his vote in NA-238 Dera Ismail Khan.

Speaking on the occasion, he underlined that it is important to exercise right to franchise.

9:55am: Political workers clash in Karachi’s Landhi

Workers of two rival political parties clashed in Qazafi town of Karachi. However, there were no reports of anyone receiving injuries as a result of the brawl.

The Rangers personnel timely intervened and dispersed the furious workers and restored peaceful environment in the area of Landhi for the smooth conduct of the polls.polling stations

9:45am: Matiari polling stations short of election material

A number of polling stations in Matiari district are experiencing problems owing to the shortage of electoral material. The polling station 50 and 51 do not have complete electoral material as yet due to which the polling process could not be started at these stations.

A presiding officer at one of these stations complained how is it possible for the election staff there to commence voting, if they don’t have adequate facilities.

9:35am: Suspicious man barred from entering Lyari polling booth

A suspicious-looking man made an attempt to enter the polling station in Bihar Colony of Lyari. He pretended to be a police officer when security personnel barred him from going inside the station. The polling process was halted for 20 minutes afterwards.

9:30am: Bakhtawar, Aseefa cast votes

Bakhtawar and  Aseefa  Bhutto Zardari, the daughters of former president Asif Ali Zardari, just cast their ballots in Nawabshah. The former head of state is contesting from a National Assembly constituency in Benazirabad (Nawabshah).

9:20am: Polling picks up

Though voting for 11th general elections started slowly but it now seems to be picking up as long queues of voters are seen at many polling stations across the country, according to ARY News correspondents.

Many people waiting outside polling booths grumbled about election staff commencing the voting process late by up to 30 minutes.


9:10am: PTI’s Yasmeen Rashid casts vote

Yasmeen Rashid, a prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, cast her vote in Lahore. She seemed confident about her party’s victory in the general elections. “Public should come out to cast vote for their favorite leader,” she urged.

Yasmeen is vying for the seat of Lahore’s NA-125.Dr Yasmeen Rashid

9:00am: Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khursheed Shah cast vote

Former National Assembly speaker and PML-N leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq cast his ballot in Garhi Shahu, Lahore. Whereas, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Syed Khursheed Shah exercised his right to vote in NA-207, Sukkur.

8:55am: Shehbaz Sharif casts his ballot

PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif has just cast his vote in the constituency of NA-130, Lahore.

He reached the polling booth along with his family members. The former Punjab chief minister is contesting the election from NA-3, Swat-II, NA-132, Lahore 10, NA-249, Karachi West 2, NA-192, DG Khan 4, PP-164, Lahore, and PP-165, Lahore 22.

8:45am: ECP receives complaints about vote transfer

As the polling is on across the country, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has so far received six complaints about registration or transfer of votes to far-off places or voters going missing from lists. ECP 

8:35am:  Power cuts hit several polling stations

Despite promises of uninterrupted power supply on the polling day, one of the polling booths in NA-236 (Malir-I) is experiencing load shedding. Polling staff was seen complaining that they are forced to go about their work without electricity. Owing to power outage, CCTV cameras installed at the station have also become non-functional.

8:30am: PTI leader Asad Umar casts his vote

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar cast his vote at a polling station in NA-54, Islamabad, a National Assembly seat he is vying for. He told reporters that his party is going to form the next government at the Centre.

He expressed the optimism that after today’s election, Pakistan will head in the right direction.

8:20am: Polling couldn’t begin in parts of country

There are reports that voting has yet not begun at several polling stations in different parts of the country as election staff is said to be absent at some polling booths despite passage of more than 20 minutes.

8:10am: First vote cast in Karachi’s NA-236

As the polling for the 2018 general elections opened, the first vote was cast at a polling station in NA-236, Karachi. A large number of voters have lined up outside the polling booth waiting for their turn to exercise their right to franchise.

8:00am: Polling time begins

The polling has begun across different polling stations countrywide, however majority of the polling stations haven’t yet witnessed a large turnout. People may leave homes to exercise their right to ballot as the time passes.elections 2018