LB polls held in Balochistan amid violence


Polling for the local bodies (LB) elections for over 4,000 seats in 32 districts of Balochistan was held on Saturday amid clashes and violent incidents at various polling stations.
Security arrangements were made and a public holiday was announced in the province for facilitating the voters to cast their votes.
5,718 polling stations were set up in the province for the holding of local bodies elections of them 2,776 were declared highly sensitive, while 1,581 sensitive.
More than 50,000 troops of the police, FC, Balochistan Constabulary and Levies force were deployed, while 5,325 soldiers of Pakistan Army performed duties as quick response force at the polling stations.
Nine districts including Quetta, Kalat, Mastung, Khuzdar, Kharan, Washak, Panjgur, Gawdar and Kech were declared sensitive for security reasons.
Pillion riding, exhibition of all sorts of weapons and dark windowpanes of vehicles were banned owing to security reasons.
No candidate contested in Awaran and other 500 areas; meanwhile, 3000 candidates unofficially stood elected unopposed in different constituencies.
A phenomenal women turnout was witnessed in district Hub’s ward-30 and Akram Colony.
Voters in large number poured into Quetta’s ward-30 where they voiced satisfaction over the security arrangements.
Rivals of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate and his supporters were attacked during polling at Warjharai of Kharkhara union council, which resulted in injuries to several persons.
Polling staff at few polling stations of Khuzdar and Chaman turned up late causing some delay in the beginning of polling.
In Dera Murad Jamali, polling was stopped for the missing election symbol of an independent candidate Mir Hasil Khan Solangi from the ballot papers.
Several fake identity cards were used at a women’s polling station for the municipal corporation in Chaman which resulted in a confrontation between supporters of different candidates.
At least five people were wounded in a scuffle among the supporters of two candidates in ward-14 in Qila Abdullah.
In Harnai District, a sit-in continues against the alleged altering of electoral rolls outside the municipal office. The sit-in which is being staged by independent candidates and political parties has resulted in polling not starting on 82 stations.
Polling remained suspended at a station in Mastung for Ward No 2 due to the presence of wrong symbols on ballot papers.