Shutter down in Balochistan amid allegations of election rigging

Shutter down in Balochistan amid allegations of election rigging

Balochistan Government Denies Election Rigging Allegations

QUETTA: Today, major cities in Balochistan, including Quetta, are witnessing a complete shutter-down strike in protest against alleged election rigging in the 2024 general elections.

As a result, commercial centers and shops in Quetta city are closed, and city roads have sparse traffic.

The strike, endorsed by four prominent political parties of Balochistan – Pashtunkhawa mili awami Party, Balochistan National Party, Hazara Democratic Party, and National Party – aims to highlight their claims of electoral manipulation.

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These parties insist that the election results, particularly in constituencies where their candidates emerged victorious, must be upheld without alteration.

However, the Balochistan Government refutes allegations of election rigging, dismissing them as baseless. Caretaker Information Minister John Achakzai urges losing parties to exercise patience and refrain from agitation.

He emphasizes that these parties retain the right to challenge election outcomes through appropriate channels.

Moreover, in Balochistan’s border town of Chaman, a shutter-down strike is also underway following the appeal of the Awami National Party (ANP). ANP has announced the closure of all banks and government offices starting today.

300 PTI activists booked for violating section 144

Nearly 300 PTI activists have been booked by police for violating Section 144 and protesting alleged election rigging.

The case, filed at Sadiqabad police station against the PTI activists, includes prominent figures like NA-57 candidate Seembia Tahir and provincial candidate Tanveer Aslam Raja.

Despite the government’s ban on large gatherings under Section 144, PTI supporters gathered, prompting police action.

The FIR accuses them of interfering in state affairs and adds seven provisions.

Additionally, former MNA Tahir Sadiq and family face charges under anti-terrorism laws for alleged involvement in attacking returning officer offices and damaging government property.

As per the first, FIR registered in police sta­tion Pindigheb, Eman Ta­hir, her mother and more than 200 party activists attacked returning of­ficer office in Pindigheb, pelted stones at police which resulted in injuries to Constables Akhtar Hus­sain and constable Arshad Mehmood.

While in anoth­er FIR, Attock City police booked Insibat Tahir and more than two hundred party activists for alleged­ly attacking returning of­ficer office, damaging govt property, shouting pro­vocative slogans against govt institutes and pelting stones at police.

Pakistan went to polls on Feb 8 to elect new government.

The PTI claims that authorities tampered with the election results. Several party leaders have approached courts against the results.