Elections remain peaceful in FATA amid good participation of women


–Minor incidents of firing, complaints of combined male-female polling booths and lack of stamps reported in some constituencies

ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be a good news, polling at the generally volatile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) remained largely peaceful and no major event of violence was reported from the region during the election day.

Effective security arrangements have been put in place across the whole region. The Pak Afghan border has also been sealed completely so as to avoid any untoward incident during the election process, however, some cases of mismanagements were reported from some areas.

During the whole day, no major incident of violence took place in the troubled territory, except two minor incidents of firing in Mohmand district. However, any largescale damage was not reported. Two persons were injured in another incident of firing between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and independent candidate’s supporters in Bajaur district.

The people came out in large numbers to exercise their right of vote in the 2018 elections in the region except in North Waziristan, where the turnout might be low because the polling started after 12am.

According to the reports, some polling agents reached at their respective stations very late, while at some places, there had no stamps due to which a lot of people were unable to exercise their right to vote.

In a first for FATA, the women participated in the voting process in good numbers, as in Shakkai tehsil of South Waziristan and Pazai in Mohmand district a large number of women participated in the election.

However, in Shewa tehsil, North Waziristan, 1,200 people vote did not cast vote and even women boycotted the polling process in Razmak due to the combined polling station.

Similarly, in NA-49 women did not vote at some polling stations due to the complaint of shifting their votes at far-flung areas.

According to the preliminary reports, PTI-backed independent candidate Ali Wazir is likely to win the seat NA-50 with a huge margin, while JUI-F candidate Maulana Jamaluddin could win from NA-49.

Similarly, PTI candidate Aourangzib from NA-48 is leading the race so far, as his opponent independent candidate Mohsin Dawar levelled serious allegations of rigging against the security agencies.

Mohsin tweeted, “Army and MI personnel are snatching the ID cards of our supporters in different areas to stop them from polling their votes.”