Elections 2024: Caretakers urge people to exercise their right to vote

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ISLAMABAD: With only two days to go for the February 8 general elections, the caretaker government on Tuesday urged the people of Pakistan to exercise their right to vote “without any fear or intimidation”, ARY News reported.

Addressing a press conference, caretaker Interior Minister Dr Gohar Ejaz expressed his commitment to ensure robust security for upcoming general elections, outlining the government s comprehensive preparations in place for the polls.

The minister was flanked by Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, and Federal Secretary for Interior, Aftab Akbar Durrani.

Highlighting the security measures, Dr Ejaz assured that there would be no compromise on maintaining law and order during the elections. He underscored the collaboration between security agencies and the administration to prevent any unlawful interference.

Gohar Ejaz emphasised the presence of trained commandos in Balochistan and the support of the armed forces in ensuring the safety of the electoral process.

Providing an overview of the election preparations, the interior minister shared that out of 90,777 polling stations across the country, 44,000 were declared normal, 29,985 deemed sensitive, and 16,766 labeled as highly sensitive.

He reassured the public that security would be deployed in three levels, with 7 to 8 law enforcers stationed at each polling station.

Despite concerns and challenges, the caretaker minister expressed hope for a “transparent, and peaceful election”.

He urged the public to exercise their right to vote with confidence, acknowledging the dedication of the 511,000-strong police force guarding the poling stations.

The minister recounted his visits to Karachi and Balochistan, addressing specific challenges in each region.

In Sindh, he noted the absence of enmity between political parties, while in Balochistan, he highlighted the disruptive actions of terrorists tarnishing Pakistan s image.

Dispelling rumors surrounding the elections on February 8, Dr Ejaz clarified that, as of now, no decision had been made to shut down mobile or internet services.

However, he emphasised that, if necessary, considerations would be made based on security requests from specific districts or provinces.

In his remarks, Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said despite all speculations, the general elections are taking place on Thursday.

He said it is written in the preamble of the constitution that the country will be governed by its elected representatives. “The Information Ministry has also launched an app for the facilitation of local and foreign journalists,” he added.

Read More: Election 2024: Curtains fall on election activities tonight

All is set for holding general elections in Pakistan, scheduled for February 8, 2024, with over 128 million male and female voters expected to exercise their voting rights.

According to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 5,121 candidates are in the race for the National Assembly seats, of which 4,807 are males and 312 females. Two transgenders are also contesting the polls.

For the four provincial assemblies of Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Balochistan, a total of 12,695 candidates are contesting for the polls, out of which 12,123 are males and 570 are women.

There are a total of 128,585,760 registered voters in the country, out of which Punjab has the most, 73, 207,896. Sindh comes second with 26,994,769 registered voters while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa third with 21,928,119 voters. Balochistan has 5,371,947 registered voters while Pakistan s capital Islamabad has 1,083,029 voters.

 

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