Thursday 24 April 2014
News updated at 5:59 PM IST
Weather
Max: 34.6°C
Min : 22.8°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

Pakistanis vote in historic polls, 17 killed in violence

Islamabad/Karachi, May 11, 2013 (PTI)
Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand guard as votersqueue for their turn to cast their vote outside a polling station in Karachi on May 11, 2013. Pakistani voters went to the polls on May 11, braving Taliban threats to cast their ballots in an election marking a historic democratic transition for the nuclear-armed state. Queues began to form before polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0300 GMT). More than 100 people including women and the elderly waited patiently to vote at one school building on the outskirts of Islamabad. AFP PHOTO

Defying Taliban death threats, enthusiastic Pakistanis in large numbers today voted for national and provincial assemblies in a landmark democratic transition of power marred by a string of bomb attacks killing at least 17 people.

A staggering 75,000 security personnel, including 5,000 troops for sensitive polling stations Taliban-dominated restive areas in northwest, were deployed to ensure smooth conduct of the exercise.

The Election Commission extended the time of voting by one hour till 6 pm (local time) as large number of voters were seen standing in queues to exercise their franchise.


A total of 4,670 candidates are standing for the 342-member National Assembly while nearly 11,000 are running for the four provincial assemblies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan.

The main contenders are the PPP, which has been ruling the country, PML-N led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf headed by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.

The PML-N and Khan's party were the only major political forces that were able to conduct a nationwide campaign after the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan warned that it would target leaders and rallies of the secular-leaning PPP, Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which were part of the outgoing coalition.

The Election Commission termed the turnout as "very good" across the country in general without specifying the precise figure. The largest province of Punjab saw a huge turnout, it said.

More than 86 million people were eligible to vote in the polls. The process of counting of votes began as polling closed and the trends are expected by early morning tomorrow.

The high turnout came despite direct threats from the outlawed Taliban to launch attacks on election day.

Thirteen people were killed and over 40 others injured in three bomb attacks in the southern port city of Karachi.

The first blast went off near the election office of Amanullah Mehsud, an Awami National Party candidate contesting polls to the Sindh Assembly.

Mehsud escaped unhurt though several ANP workers were among the dead and injured.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A worker spreads paddy crop for drying at a rice processing unit in Bavla...

A worker spreads paddy crop for drying at a rice processing unit in Bavla...

A helicopter flies past as Bangladesh's naval frigate BNS Abu Bakar participates in multi-country...

A helicopter flies past as Bangladesh's naval frigate BNS Abu Bakar participates in multi-country...

Sachin Tendulkar poses for a photograph with his wife Anjali during his 41st bithday celebrations...

Sachin Tendulkar poses for a photograph with his wife Anjali during his 41st bithday celebrations...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showing the ink mark on his finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showing the ink mark on his finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha...

Residents trying to salvage their belongings after a massive fire gutted their houses in Patna...

Residents trying to salvage their belongings after a massive fire gutted their houses in Patna...

A honeybee ‘caught’ by a ‘len’s eye’ while feeding on nectar...

A honeybee ‘caught’ by a ‘len’s eye’ while feeding on nectar...

Labourers thrash cornflower stalks in a field during morning hours near Vrindavan...

Labourers thrash cornflower stalks in a field during morning hours near Vrindavan...

Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh offers floral tribute at Khomjam War Memorial Complex...

Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh offers floral tribute at Khomjam War Memorial Complex...

In this Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Olivia Wilde, and Jason Sudeikis arrive at the ...

In this Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Olivia Wilde, and Jason Sudeikis arrive at the ...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception ...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523