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Pakistan election highlights: Army will perform only a facilitative role, says General Qamar Bajwa

Pakistan election highlights: According to the nationwide survey, PTI is leading with 29 per cent, followed by PMLN at 25 per cent and Pakistan Peoples Party led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at 20 per cent. Pakistan also follows the first-past-the-post system.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 25, 2018 9:01:12 am
Pakistan election LIVE updates: Imran Khan's PTI slightly ahead of Nawaz Sharif's PMLN, says survey Pakistan election highlights: Pakistan also follows the first-past-the-post system. (File photo)

Campaigning in Pakistan has ended as the country prepares to vote in the general election Wednesday. A fierce battle is expected between Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) led by Nawaz Sharif’s brother and former Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, but a public opinion survey on Monday put the PTI slightly ahead of the PMLN. The survey, on the other hand, has also found that 14 per cent of the respondents in Punjab province, the PMLN’s stronghold, remain undecided. And, it is this group of voters who are expected to determine the final outcome of the 2018 elections.

According to the nationwide survey, PTI is leading with 29 per cent, followed by PMLN at 25 per cent and Pakistan Peoples Party led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at 20 per cent. Pakistan also follows the first-past-the-post system.

Pakistan Election 2018 Polls LIVE UPDATES

Live Blog

Pakistan votes tomorrow. Public opinion survey says Imran Khan's PTI slightly ahead of Nawaz Sharif's PMLN. Here are the highlights

18:24 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Weather forecast for election day

According to the Dawn, the National Disaster Management Authority has forecast thundershowers with gusty winds in scattered places in Lahore, Sargodha, Peshawar, Malakand, Hazara, Mardan, Kalat and in isolated places in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, DG Khan, Khoat, Bannu, DI Khan and Zhob. Hot and humid weather conditions likely to prevail in Sindh, Balochistan and other plain areas of the country.

17:43 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Surveillance vehicles with live video streaming cameras to keep check on poll process

Officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan have started collected polling apparatus from distribution centres across Pakistan. Ballot boxes and other voting material are being handed over to the polling staff in the presence of police and army personnel and the same is being transported to polling stations amid strict security. In Karachi, voters lists have been put up at polling stations to guide the voters. The code of conduct for polling day has also been displayed. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police have arranged surveillance vehicles equipped with live video streaming cameras.

17:36 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Why is the election important for India

In the campaign of the main political parties, relations with India have not figured. In their manifestos, the PML (N), Imran’s PTI, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have all called for dialogue with India. All three manifestos reference the UN Security Council resolutions as a framework for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. If the PML-N wins, India will breathe a sigh of relief, given Imran Khan's perceived closeness with the military.

15:48 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Trying best to hold free, fair and unbiased elections, says Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner

Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza (retired) on Tuesday assured voters that the election commission was "trying its best to hold free, fair and unbiased elections," Dawn reported. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday ordered three candidates of Allahu Akbar Tehreek (AAT) to submit copies of their computerised national identity cards and passports after it emerged that their names are included in the United Nations' terror watchlist. After the ECP denied registration to the banned Milli Muslim League (MML) -- the political face of Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaatud Dawa -- the party fielded its candidates under the banner of AAT.

15:38 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Election commission's order on women polling stations stokes row

The Pakistan election commission has ordered that only women polling agents would be allowed at female polling stations across the country. The order has been slammed by the political parties as an unnecessary move. Pakistan has 46.73 million registered female voters.

15:05 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Army will perform only a facilitative role in elections, says General Qamar Bajwa

Amid reports over meddling by the military in the elections, Army chief General Qamar Bajwa has assured that military personnel deployed for election duties would strictly comply with the code of conduct given by the Election Commission of Pakistan. He also said the army will only perform a facilitative role in the election and the polling process will remain under the control and authority of the ECP.

13:13 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Pakistan military deploys 350,000 soldiers at polling booths

At the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the military is deploying 350,000 soldiers to polling stations nationwide. Leading rights activist I.A. Rehman said it was worrying that soldiers will be positioned inside booths where votes are cast. See photos

12:58 (IST)24 Jul 2018
'Shadow of military looming over election amplifies continued struggles of democracy in Pakistan'

``The shadow of the military looming over the election amplifies the continued struggles of democracy in Pakistan,'' said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the U.S.-based Wilson Center. ``Allegations of army meddling and the fact that troops will be deployed on mass levels on election day make it crystal clear that this election process is not entirely a civilian-led process.''

12:56 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years in jail

Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League, or PML-N, won in 2013, but he fell out with the military after questioning its links to some militant groups and seeking to make it subservient to parliament. He was ousted last year after leaked documents from a Panama law firm revealed he and his family had undisclosed assets abroad. He was found guilty of corruption, banned from politics for life and sentenced to 10 years in jail, where he is appealing his conviction. His brother, Shahbaz Sharif, took power.

12:55 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Pakistan People's Party was propeled to victory in 2008 following Benazir Bhutto's death

The left-leaning Pakistan People's Party was propelled to victory in 2008 by sympathetic voters following the death of their leader Benazir Bhutto, killed by militant radicals she had vowed to eradicate.

12:55 (IST)24 Jul 2018

"This is quite a schizophrenic moment for Pakistan's democracy,'' said Moeed Yusuf, associate vice president of the Asia Center at the Washington-based US Institute of Peace. "On the one hand, you have completing 10 years of uninterrupted democratic rule. ... On the other hand, you've got all sorts of allegations of pre-poll rigging and manipulation."

12:55 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Military has ruled Pakistan — directly or indirectly — for most of its history

The military has ruled the country of more than 200 million people _ directly or indirectly _ for most of its history. Successive attempts at protracted democracy have been interrupted by military coups, the last one in 1999. Pakistanis went to the polls in 2008 and elected their first civilian government in 12 years.

12:48 (IST)24 Jul 2018
'Whatever way elections run, I see a lot of instability'

The rancorous campaign and charges of manipulation have polarized Pakistanis, and whichever party loses is likely to cry fraud."Whatever way elections run, I see a lot of instability,'' said Ayesha Siddiqa, a defense analyst and author of ``Military Inc.,'' about the massive financial holdings of Pakistan's military.

11:48 (IST)24 Jul 2018

At the center of most allegations is the powerful military establishment, along with its intelligence agency, known by the acronym ISI. The manipulation is seen as seeking to prevent the Pakistan Muslim League, the party of disgraced Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, from returning to power, while giving a shot at running the country to former cricket star Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI.

11:42 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Charges of rigging, intimidation mar Pakistan campaign

As Pakistan prepares to make history Wednesday by electing a third straight civilian government, rights activists, analysts and candidates say the campaign has been among its dirtiest ever, imperiling the country's wobbly transition to democratic rule. The campaign has been characterized by ``blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate'' the outcome, with media being silenced and the intimidation of candidates, according to Pakistan's Independent Human Rights Commission.

11:20 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Pakistan's Imran Khan seeks election win over jailed ex-PM's party

Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan is hoping to become Pakistan's prime minister after 20 years of being dismissed at the polls, as the country prepares to vote in a tense election pitting him against the party of jailed ex-premier Nawaz Sharif. Just over a decade after the end of Pakistan's most recent era of military rule, Wednesday's vote features competing narratives of democracy amid Sharif's accusations elements of the powerful army are working to throw the race to Khan, which he denies. — Reuters

10:46 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Baloch activist urges people to boycott Pakistan election

Baloch activists urge people in Balochistan to boycott Pakistan General Elections to be held on July 25. Naela Quadri Baloch, President of World Baloch Women’s Forum, says, 'Our free and sovereign country was occupied by Pakistan and Pakistan is violating all International laws. Pak is responsible for the genocide of Baloch people. To show that Baloch people are part of their Parliamentary process, they are forcefully abducting them, displacing Baloch villages and taking them to Army camps for forceful casting of votes. Baloch people don't want to be part of Pakistan.' --ANI


Naela Quadri Baloch, President of World Baloch Women’s Forum. (ANI photo)
10:24 (IST)24 Jul 2018
10:24 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Watch | Bilawal Bhutto's speech from Jacobabad last night
10:22 (IST)24 Jul 2018
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari ended his campaign with a note-- '25 July ko Teer Chalayga'

Pakistan election LIVE updates: Imran Khan's PTI slightly ahead of Nawaz Sharif's PMLN, says survey Pakistan election highlights: Pakistan minorities are looking for better representation and a voice that will speak up for them. (Reuters photo)

Over 12,570 candidates, including a number of hardline clerics, are contesting the elections to the parliament and four provincial assemblies. The Pakistan military will station over 370,000 troops nationwide to ensure the vote goes smoothly, the largest such deployment in the country's history on an election day. Hoping for their betterment this time, Pakistan minorities are looking for better representation and a voice that will speak up for them in what rights groups warn is in an increasingly intolerant atmosphere in this Muslim-majority nation.

Also Read | Imran Khan has thin lead, but undecided in Nawaz Sharif’s Punjab hold key to victory

Also Read | Pakistan elections: Transgenders to work as poll observers during polls

Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan is hoping to become Pakistan's prime minister after 20 years of being dismissed at the polls, as the country prepares to vote in a tense election pitting him against the party of jailed ex-premier Nawaz Sharif. Just over a decade after the end of Pakistan's most recent era of military rule, Wednesday's vote features competing narratives of democracy amid Sharif's accusations elements of the powerful army are working to throw the race to Khan, which he denies. Khan, 65, has hailed Sharif's conviction on corruption charges this month as proof democracy is maturing in the nuclear-armed Muslim-majority nation of 208 million by finally holding its venal political elite accountable.

 

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