Pakistan’s General Elections Marred by Violence and Allegations of Rigging

# Former PM Imran Khan, other prominent incarcerated political voted by postal ballot from jail

Islamabad: Pakistan is in the midst of crucial parliamentary elections, but concerns loom large over the integrity of the voting process and the prospect of forming a coalition government amidst deep-seated political divides.

Disturbing reports emerged from the Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as polling station staff were targeted, resulting in the tragic death of a police officer. The incident has heightened fears regarding the safety of election personnel and voters.

In response to the escalating tensions, mobile phone services were abruptly suspended nationwide today, purportedly to maintain order and prevent unrest surrounding the contentious polls.

A significant deployment of tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces has been dispatched to polling stations to ensure security.

However, violence has already marred the pre-election period, with two bombings targeting election offices in the south-western Baluchistan province. These attacks have claimed the lives of at least 30 individuals and left numerous others injured, with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility for the atrocities.

Adding to the complexity of the electoral process, several prominent political figures, including former Prime Minister Imran Khan, have cast their votes via postal ballot from incarceration. This unconventional voting method raises questions about the fairness and transparency of the electoral process.

Amidst these tumultuous events, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, voiced skepticism regarding the elections’ credibility, branding them as predictable yet deeply flawed. Bisaria pointed to alleged interference by the military, suggesting pre-election manipulation aimed at securing a favorable outcome for certain political factions.

With accusations of electoral malpractice and violence overshadowing the polling process, Pakistan braces itself for a tense and uncertain transition of power in the days to come.

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