Supporters of two political parties clash in Balochistan

Supporters of two political parties clashed during a vote recount in Balochistan, Pakistan, resulting in two deaths and 14 injuries.

The Parties Involved

The clash occurred between supporters of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) outside the office of the returning officer in Hub, an industrial town on the border with Karachi. 

The clash took place while a recount of the votes from 39 polling stations was being conducted. According to SSP Hub Manzoor Ahmed Buledi, fights broke out between supporters of both candidates. Fatalities and injuries came as a result of gunfire.

The clash occurred after BAP declared victory based on unofficial results. But the PPP requested a vote recount to contest the outcome. As a result, the Election Commission of Pakistan mandated the recount.

Rallies Across the province

Various political parties held rallies and sit-ins in different parts of the province last Monday. The purpose was to protest against alleged rigging in the election outcome. As a result, traffic between Balochistan and other provinces underwent suspension.

Pakistan witnesses country-wide protests as the people express anger and dissatisfaction with the poll results. However, a survey conducted a day before the elections stated that the majority of Pakistanis would accept the results.

An alliance of four parties representing Baloch, Pashtoon, and Hazara nationalists called for a shutterdown strike in the province on Tuesday. They made it clear that they would continue their protest until the withdrawal of what they called the “changed results.”

The alliance, consisting of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), PTI, and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), also sought cooperation from other political parties to make the strike against the contested election outcome successful. They aimed to pressure the ECP and the establishment to respect the mandate of the people of Balochistan.

On Monday, following a call for protest against alleged rigging, the National Party observed a complete shutterdown strike in Turbat and other areas. All markets and private banks in Turbat remained closed throughout the day, and intra-city traffic was minimal.