The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has opted to expedite the delivery of ballot papers for the upcoming general elections in select regions of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by utilizing air transportation. The initiative comes amid a worsening law and order situation due to various terrorist activities across Pakistan. A spokesperson for the ECP disclosed to APP that ballot papers will be airlifted to strategic locales including Gwadar, Panjgur, Kach, Kharan, Bajaur, and Kurram Agency to ensure swift distribution.
In a concerted effort to facilitate the electoral process, the ECP has devised a logistical plan wherein ballot papers for both national and provincial assemblies in the aforementioned areas will be dispatched via helicopters and C-130 aircraft. Regarding the production of the ballot papers, the spokesperson noted that printing operations for three National Assembly seats in the Federal Capital have commenced and are anticipated to conclude imminently.
Furthermore, the spokesperson highlighted that the printing of ballot papers for all constituencies across Balochistan has been finalized, signaling readiness for the electoral process in the province. Additionally, significant progress has been made in printing operations for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with approximately 90 percent completion, while 80 percent of Punjab’s ballot papers and 60 percent of those for Sindh have also been printed, underscoring substantial advancement in logistical preparations for the impending elections.
In a targeted spree, multiple hand grenade attacks were perpetrated against election offices affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Quetta and Mangochar area of Kalat. The Quetta incident alone inflicted injuries on three individuals, highlighting the severity of the assaults.
Moreover, assailants carried out a hand grenade attack on the residence of PPP candidate Zahoor Buledi in Kech, adding to the wave of violence and intimidation surrounding the electoral process.
In a separate and equally egregious incident, unidentified assailants unleashed gunfire upon Awami National Party (ANP) workers in Chaman City, claiming the life of party member Zahoor Ahmed. This fatal attack transpired amidst electioneering activities within the PB-50 constituency, underscoring the precarious security environment prevailing in the region.
Condemnation swiftly followed from Balochistan’s caretaker Home Minister Zubair Jamali, who unequivocally denounced the attacks, vowing that such heinous acts would not deter the populace’s resolve against terrorism.
Tragically, the specter of violence extended beyond Balochistan as independent candidate Rehan Zeb Khan fell victim to a fatal shooting in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Bajaur district. Khan’s demise occurred during his campaign activities in the Sadiqabad Phatak Bazar area, casting a somber shadow over the electoral landscape.