The highly anticipated General Elections of Pakistan saw polls open at 8 am on July 25th.

Voting began at 8am and lasted for a good 10 hours during which 105,955,407 registered voters were anticipated to vote for Pakistan’s future.

While several events succeeded smoothly, there were various polling stations that either fell victim to reported rigging and others to terrorism.

Here is a quick recap of some questionable incidents, which speak much about the problems in Pakistani society.

Tussles Between Opposing Political Party Supporters

Three hours into polling, people headed towards the Mirpurkhas polling areas only to come across firing, which took the life of one civilian. Another two people were injured during the firing in Balochistan. Despite the attempts by several unknown personnel to stop people from approaching the polling booths, nothing seemed to halter their desire to vote. Those firing the shots in most cases were political party supporters, which highlights the often dangerous nature of support we render

A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker was also killed and two others injured as insafians clashed with Awami National Party outside a polling station in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. This is also another ugly side of blind political support. Our idealization of one particular leader has led to a strange form of patriotism that doesn’t even take into account the life of a fellow citizen over our political allegiances.

Women Harassed at Polling stations

Women at NA-62, for instance, were initially asked not to leave their homes for the elections and haven’t done so in 70 years. However, this did not hinder their determination for this election. More so ECP declared that unless 10% of the votes collected from each constituency were of females, that particular electorate will be rendered null and void. In what reads like a desperate attempt at rigging, at NA-62 women complained to have been harassed by the police officers present on site. They were being forced to cast their votes for PML-N and those who openly refused to do so were either being sent away or made to wait in the heat for hours. Nonetheless, they eventually successfully cast their votes.

Men in Black: In Burkas Not Suits

In a rather grim yet laughable turn of events amidst the chaos of this election, several men were seen cloaking burqas as they approached the Karak polling stations to cast their votes as women. Luckily, the police officers present on the site were able to sense the precarious situation and removed the men without delay. But we are forced to wonder, first Maulvi’s escaping Lal Masjid in burkas and now this. What is with this fascination with the female garb?

Late Lateefi Costs Voters Their Basic Right

Presiding officers arrived late at several locations, which cut down the time for voters to cast their votes. Despite the many requests put in by almost all electoral candidates to the ECP to extend the voting time by an hour, the request was denied. As a result of this, several men and women were left outside the polling stations in their queues and the voting period was called off. Because of this a plethora of individuals had to return home without their thumbs inked and their votes casted. Someone needs to tell the polling officers that the future of Pakistan for the next five years depended on their punctuality.

Vandalism at Polling Stations

Jibran Nasir from NA-247 faced a lot of backlash from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s supporters. Five of his camps were attacked in Karachi and vandalized in an attempt to discourage people from casting their votes to someone they consider a “non-Muslim.” The cars of his supporters were also attacked and left with broken windows and windshields.

While official results are pouring in, the entire nation awaits the results eagerly. Though the elections were handled mostly with professionalism and foresight, the above incidents were tragedies that hopefully we can learn from as the nation engages in the democratic process.




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