Pakistan voted in the country’s 12th General Elections under a bar on communication with mobile internet services disrupted and delays in the start of polling reported at several areas. Nearly 129 million Pakistanis were due to vote across 90,000 polling stations across the country amid hope that helping elect the 266 candidates would steer the country out of its current economic crisis.

Security concerns, already mounting in the face of rising terrorist attacks, were back on the forefront after the attack in Balochistan on Wednesday, and topped the list of government worries that resorted to its tried-and-tested formula of imposing a blackout on mobile internet connectivity.

The government deployed over 648,000 security personnel nationwide to ensure safety, but a drastically different political landscape played on the minds of voters.

Here is Business Recorder’s live coverage of the General Elections 2024 polling.


Polling ends.


“If you are in line at polling stations, stand your ground and demand your right to vote. It is your fundamental right,” Asif Ali Zardari’s daughter Aseefa Bhutto wrote on X.


“Mobile services are down due to extreme security reasons. Ensuring security is vitally important so that people turn out without fear,” the Ministry of Interior wrote on X.


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said the time for casting votes for general elections 2024 will not be extended.


Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that polling for NA 245, 246, 248 and 295 had not yet started.

“There is a limit to incompetence. Fake result will not be accepted,” he wrote on X.


Business Recorder was informed that Karachi’s NA-248 ran out of ballot books in the women’s polling booths.


Karachi NA-236 PTI candidate Alamgir Khan posted on X that polling had finally begun at Askari 4.


Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab cast his vote.


Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja said on Thursday that he was in constant touch with the government over suspension of cellular services.

Talking to the media in Islamabad, the CEC said he was cognizant of the difficulties faced by voters due to the suspension of mobile phone services.

The CEC said people should have checked their voting details by messaging on 8300 before the polling day.

When asked if the disruption of cellular services would slow the down the voting process, he said it was too early to talk about the turnout.


Sindh Chief Minister House shared a post in which Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice Maqbool Baqar (Retd) can be seen casting his vote at Government Boys Secondary School, Karachi.


Ministry of Interior’s post shows Caretaker Interior Minister Dr Gohar Ejaz visit its control room and polling station where he was briefed regarding the security situation.


Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Naeemur Rehman cast his vote in his North Nazimabad constituency.


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Barrister Syed Ali Zafar announced that on behalf of his party and public who are exercising right to vote for freedom, he has approached the Election Commission of Pakistan against mobile/internet closure.

Ensuring free and fair elections is ECP’s responsibility, he said.


Jamaat-e-Islami’s Siraj-ul-Haq cast his vote.


Watch: Polling underway at Sir Syed College, Nazimabad


As per Business Recorder, a PTI camp in Lahore’s NA 122 was set up without any posters or banners. Next to it was the PML-N’s camp, which had banners of Khawaja Saad Rafique.


Business Recorder was informed that despite no rush inside Lahore’s Dar ul Hikmat High School, Kamahan NA-123, voters were made to wait outside the polling station.


Bilawal said his mandate cannot be given to anyone else, and that people had every right to cast their votes without any hindrance.

Speaking to media outside a polling station in Larkana, he said that the suspension of cellular services will impact voter turnout along with the security of the people if “incidents of violence were to happen.


Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and and Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari cast their vote.

Asif Ali Zardari casts vote in Nawabshah


A resident in NA-238 says voters are getting confused over ballot papers and party symbols.

The woman, speaking to Business Recorder on Thursday morning, says there appears to be elements of ‘rigging’ in Pakistan’s 12th General Elections.


Pakistan Peoples Party leader Qamar Zaman Kaira cast his vote in Lala Musa.


PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz cast her vote.


Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif cast his vote. He urged people to exercise their right to vote.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif urges people to come out and vote


Karachi NA-236 PTI candidate Alamgir Khan in a post on X said that Gulshan Iqbal Hashmat School Abul Hasan Isfahani Road has not received the ballot paper yet.


President Dr Arif Alvi and his family cast their vote.

“The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has asked for your personal advice through your vote to elect representatives to the National & Provincial Assemblies. It is therefore your Islamic, constitutional and civic responsibility.

“Urge all of you to come out & exercise your right. Pakistan needs your opinion as never before,” the president wrote on X.


Sharing her experience, a voter told Business Recorder the voting process was pretty straightforward at her polling station in Karachi’s NA 241.

“The ladies were funny though.. agents were continuously chatting with each other. One lady came out asking if her stamps were okay flapping her sheets around, another wanted help with folding the ballot.”

Another NA 241 voter “the staff at the polling station had no clue or training on how to conduct any sort of elections.”

“It was moderately frustrating. More so was phone signals being switched off. As lots of people were struggling in the morning to locate their stations and communicate with their families.”


Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader Khawaja Asif cast his vote.


Business Recorder was informed that around 250 votes were cast at Karachi’s NA 241 polling station number 6 till 11:30am.


The Election Commission of Pakistan asked citizens to lodge election-related complaints by calling the helpline 051-111-327-000.


A low turnout was reported at Karachi’s NA 248. When asked, Business Recorder was told that it was due to the suspension of mobile phone services as voters could not use the message service to find out details of their constituencies.


Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto demanded that mobile phone services must be restored immediately across the country.

“Have asked my party to approach both ECP and the courts for this purpose,” he wrote on X.


In Karachi’s NA-249 Molvi Abdul Haq School polling station, wind knocked out a polling booth, Business Recorder reported.


A security official was martyred after unidentified men opened fire at a security forces vehicle in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank area.

As per Aaj News, police said that voting was halted in Kot Azam.


Federal Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs cast vote and urge others to do the same.


Polling at NA 238 started an hour late. A police officer said it was because polling agents had not shown up. Business Recorder was told that the process started off chaotic with no agents and no one knowing what rooms to go to.

One female voter who managed to vote around 9:30am said the process was underway but with much confusion. She said her mother was accidentally given two provincial ballots, instead of one provincial and one national.


Internet and mobile phone connectivity issues spread to more areas.


Aseefa Bhutto cast her vote, urges people to do the same.


Polling at NA-249 had not yet begun at the station.


Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif cast vote in Lahore.


A statement from the ministry of interior said internet and mobile phone services were shut in ‘sensitive’ areas where security risks ran high.

This is a go-to move for Pakistan authorities as they often cite security reasons for disrupting internet and mobile phone services.


Business Recorder was informed that polling at NA-238 in Karachi was yet to get under way. Voters are queuing outside the station, but the process had not yet begun.


Mobile broadband services were disrupted, contrary to what the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had claimed earlier.

 Source: Downdetector
Source: Downdetector


Several users complain of slow internet services.


As per Aaj News, people have queued up at Karachi’s NA-234 ready to vote but polling agents are not at the polling station.


Polls open.

Aisha Mahmood

The writer is a Senior Sub-editor at Business Recorder

Saleha Riaz

The writer is Editor, Special Coverage at Business Recorder

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Hussain Afzal

Hussain Afzal is the Head of Multimedia at Business Recorder (Digital)

Rehan Ayub

The writer is a Senior Sub Editor at Business Recorder (Digital)

Bilal Memon

Bilal Memon is the Head of Digital Content at Business Recorder. His Twitter handle is @bilalahmadmemon

Umair Jamal

The writer is Head of the Political Desk at Business Recorder (Digital)

Syed Ahmed Raza

The writer is Senior Sub Editor at Business Recorder (Digital)

Bilal Hussain

The writer is a Reporter at Business Recorder (Digital)

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