Pakistan General Elections Conclude Amidst Security Concerns and Internet Blackouts

Polls have closed in Pakistan’s general and provincial elections after a period marked by violence and an internet blackout. The elections were conducted amidst heightened security due to recent attacks, including bombings in Baluchistan claimed by the Islamic State group. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is currently imprisoned on corruption charges, was barred from contesting. Criticisms have emerged over the legitimacy of the elections, further amplified by the government’s sudden decision to cut mobile and internet services, citing security concerns. The results are expected to start coming in within the next few hours, but the acceptance of the outcome remains to be seen amidst concerns over transparency and fairness.

  • Polling stations closed after a campaign period frequently disturbed by violence, including attacks that killed 28 people in Baluchistan.
  • Security was tight during the elections, with some polling stations empty due to threats and weather, while others saw large voter turnout.
  • Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, imprisoned on charges including corruption, was prevented from contesting the elections.
  • The government unexpectedly cut mobile phone and internet services on election day, citing deteriorating security conditions.
  • Critics argue that the internet shutdown was an attempt to stifle the electoral process and could affect the dissemination of results.
  • There are concerns about the legitimacy of the elections and whether the results will be accepted by the electorate.
  • Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assures that the elections are fair, despite his party running as independents due to disqualification.
  • The influence of Pakistan’s military in politics is significant, with the belief that their support can guarantee electoral victory.
  • Preliminary results are expected within a few hours post-closing of polls, with the transparency of the process being scrutinized by human rights groups.

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