AIRLINK 63.43 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (0.36%)
BOP 5.46 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.11%)
CNERGY 4.68 Increased By ▲ 0.11 (2.41%)
DFML 19.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.71 (-3.6%)
DGKC 70.29 Increased By ▲ 1.29 (1.87%)
FCCL 19.12 Increased By ▲ 0.87 (4.77%)
FFBL 30.86 Increased By ▲ 1.47 (5%)
FFL 9.58 Increased By ▲ 0.27 (2.9%)
GGL 10.16 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
HBL 109.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.86 (-0.78%)
HUBC 127.70 Increased By ▲ 1.69 (1.34%)
HUMNL 6.85 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (1.78%)
KEL 4.39 Decreased By ▼ -0.08 (-1.79%)
KOSM 4.43 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.45%)
MLCF 37.39 Increased By ▲ 0.79 (2.16%)
OGDC 128.50 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (0.16%)
PAEL 22.80 Decreased By ▼ -0.39 (-1.68%)
PIAA 26.50 Increased By ▲ 0.30 (1.15%)
PIBTL 6.19 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (3.17%)
PPL 112.52 Decreased By ▼ -0.28 (-0.25%)
PRL 26.85 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-1.1%)
PTC 16.75 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-1.99%)
SEARL 60.72 Decreased By ▼ -1.37 (-2.21%)
SNGP 65.35 Increased By ▲ 1.40 (2.19%)
SSGC 11.05 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.18%)
TELE 9.10 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.41%)
TPLP 11.28 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (2.55%)
TRG 69.85 Decreased By ▼ -1.10 (-1.55%)
UNITY 23.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-1.25%)
WTL 1.31 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-5.07%)
BR100 7,280 Increased By 64.2 (0.89%)
BR30 23,637 Increased By 105.1 (0.45%)
KSE100 70,315 Increased By 694.7 (1%)
KSE30 23,132 Increased By 221.5 (0.97%)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s main political parties were tied neck and neck in early results on Friday after vote counts in the general election were hit by unusual delays that the government blamed on a suspension of mobile phone services.

The South Asian country is struggling to recover from an economic crisis while it grapples with rising militant violence in a deeply polarised political environment.

An “internet issue” was the reason behind the delay in results, Zafar Iqbal, special secretary at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), said without elaborating.

The government said it suspended mobile phone services ahead of the election on Thursday as a security measure, and they were being partially resumed.

Ready to work with new govt in Pakistan: US State Department

By early Friday morning, the ECP had announced results for 12 of the 265 contested seats in parliament on its website.

Five were taken by supporters of jailed cricket star Imran Khan who were contesting as independents while four were won by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N), the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Three seats were taken by the Pakistan Peoples Party of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of assassinated premier Benazir Bhutto.

The main battle is expected to be between candidates backed by Khan, whose Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won the last national election, and the PML-N of Sharif.

With counting continuing into Friday morning, a clear picture was likely to emerge only later in the day.

A party needs 133 seats in parliament for a simple majority but many analysts believe the vote may not produce a clear winner.

Delay in election results: ROs fail to meet ECP’s 30-minute deadline

Sharif, considered by many observers to be a strong candidate, dismissed talk of an unclear result.

“Don’t talk about a coalition government. It is very important for a government to get a clear majority… It should not be relying on others,” he told reporters after casting his vote in the eastern city of Lahore.

Nine killed in attacks

Thousands of troops were deployed on the streets and at polling stations across the country on Thursday. Borders with Iran and Afghanistan were temporarily closed as security was stepped up to ensure peaceful polling.

Despite the heightened security, 12 people, including two children, were killed in 51 bomb blasts, grenade attacks and shootings by militants, mostly in the western provinces, the military said in a statement.

Nine killed on election day in Pakistan

The victims included five police killed in a bomb blast and firing on a patrol in the Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan district in the northwest, authorities said. Two children died in a blast outside a women’s polling station in Balochistan province.

“Despite a few isolated incidents, the overall situation remained under control, demonstrating the effectiveness of our security measures,” caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz said in a statement.

Washington was concerned about “steps that were taken to restrict freedom of expression, specifically around internet and cellphone use,” State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters.

The US strongly condemned election-related violence both in the run-up to the polls and on election day, Patel added.

Violence grips country on the eve of general election

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed concern about the violence and the suspension of mobile communications services, his spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

Amnesty International called the suspension of mobile services “a blunt attack on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said the decision on mobile networks was made by “law and order agencies” following violence on Wednesday in which 26 people were killed.

If the election does not result in a clear majority for anyone, as analysts are predicting, tackling multiple challenges will be tricky - foremost being seeking a new bailout programme from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the current arrangement expires in March.

Comments

200 characters
KU Feb 09, 2024 11:24am
The media reports on election results is conveniently ignoring the party complaints of fake vote counts and violation of election result process by ROs. Rigged democratic process at best.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply