Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (JI) and the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) seem to have suffered an absolutely crushing defeat at the hands of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the local government election.
According to unofficial and unconfirmed results pouring in from different parts of Karachi, the MQM is leading in Karachi with its candidates defeating JI Karachi Amir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and PTI Karachi President Ali Zaidi. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Karachi Division President Najmi Alam was defeated by a PTI candidate in Clifton.
The Jamaat-e-Islami leader while talking to media said he accepts the defeat. Vote count is still underway after polling for the 3rd and final phase of local government elections ended in 12 districts of Punjab and six in Karachi.
The election remained by and large calm with an exception of sporadic clashes between rival groups both in Punjab and Karachi. A man was shod and two others injured as a result of exchange of fire between two groups in UC-22 of Rawalpindi.
Similar, two groups belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clashed in Korangi, prompting the election staff to halt the polling.
The polling was stopped after a large number of voters broke into the polling station. Police said they are investigating the incident and would intiate action after identifying the miscreants involved in damaging the election material.
Tensions ran high between the MQM and the MQM-Haqiqi groups in Landhi and Korangi areas of the metropolis on election day.
Karachi, where over 90 percent polling stations were declared sensitive, has witnessed a lull as operation against criminal elements entered third year.
Though Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) allowed ten hours of uninterrupted polling, it also permitted voting beyond the stipulated closing time, enabling the voters who had entered the polling stations before 5:30.
Twelve districts of Punjab include Layyah, Rajanpur, D.G. Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Khushab, Multan, Sialkot, Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur.
Elections had been delayed in 16 union councils of Rawalpindi based on court interventions.
In Sindh, the local polls were held in Karachi West, Karachi East, Karachi South, Karachi Central, Korangi and Malir.
As many as 5,251 candidates of Chairman & Vice Chairman (joint candidates) and 31,848 for General Members of Wards within Union Councils and Municipal Committees were contesting the elections.
Also read: LG polls: Over 42, 000 police, Rangers to be deployed in Karachi
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan officials, a total of 2507 wards were formed within Union Councils and Municipal Committees in 5 Municipal Corporations, 12 District Councils and 58 Municipal Committees in different cities.
As many as 18 candidates of chairman & vice chairman and 520 for general members were elected unopposed while collectively 6160 candidates withdraw their candidature.
A total 16,986,946 (male 9,447,933, female 7,539,013) voters are exercising their right to franchise in the elections.
As many as 12 DROs, 259 ROs and 518 AROs were supervising the electoral process while 14,470 presiding officers, 80,000 APOs and 40,000 Polling Officers were present on their respective places to hold elections.
The voters cast their ballots at 40,000 polling booths of 14,470 polling stations.
There are over 7.083 million registered voters including over four million male and around three million female in Karachi districts.
According to the Election Commission, the district East comprising Ferozabad, Jamshed Quarters, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulzar Hijri has 1,186,901 registered voters–658,616 male and 528,285 female.
The district West comprising Orangi Town, Mominabad, SITE, Baldia and Manghopir has 1,530,579 voters including male 930,369 and female 600,210.
The district Malir comprising Bin Qasim, Ibrahim Hyderi, Shah Mureed, Gadap, Airport and Cantonment has 641,148 voters including 378,704 male and 262,444 female registered voters.
The district Korangi comprising Shah Faisal Colony, Model Colony, Korangi, and Landhi has 1,183,536 voters including 675,589 male and 507,947 female registered voters.
The district Central comprising Liaquatabad, Gulberg, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad and New Karachi has 1,735,219 voters with 964,585 male and 770,634 female registered.
The district South comprising Saddar, Arambagh, Civil Lines, Garden, Lyari, Keamari and Mauripur has 805,683 voters with 457,928 male and 347,755 female registered voters.
A total of 4144 polling stations including 515 for male, 477 for female and 3152 for combined voters will be available to voters in the city.
As many as 15009 polling booths including 7835 for male and 7174 for female voters have been made.
A total of 4144 presiding officers, 22072 Assistant Presiding Officers, 15009 polling officers while 549 other election staff have been assigned election duties.
The Election Commission had also established a control room in Islamabad which would work till the finalization of results.
The Control Room will receive complaints regarding irregularities in the polling process and take action for their redressal.
Only 234 out of a total of 4,141 polling stations in Karachi have been declared normal, with over 94 percent of stations declared either sensitive or highly sensitive.
According to ECP, as many as 1,791 polling stations (43pc) have been declared highly sensitive while 2,116 are being considered sensitive.
All polling stations in District Central and Korangi have been declared either sensitive or highly sensitive.
The largest number of highly sensitive polling stations (497) is in District West, with 396 stations declared sensitive out of a total of 937 stations.
Meanwhile, 859 polling stations were declared sensitive in Karachi’s District Central.
The ECP has summoned 20 companies of Pakistan Army troops to be deployed in the city to assist during the elections.
The Special Security Unit (SSU) of the Sindh Police said that 400 police commandos were also deployed in Karachi today.
The commandos were be posted at highly sensitive polling stations and were equipped with state-of-the-art weapons to carry out their duties, said an SSU spokesman.
As many as 964 polling stations were declared highly sensitive in 12 districts of Punjab while 3078 others sensitive.
Rawalpindi’s 95 polling stations, 60 in Bahawalpur, 134 in Jhang, 100 in Multan, 85 in Muzaffargarh, 165 in DG Khan, 60 in Rajanpur, 25 in Layyah, 80 in Rahim Yar Khan, 30 in Khushab, 40 in Narowal and 85 polling stations of Sialkot were rated as highly sensitive.
Contingents of Pakistan Army were deputed security assignments in Karachi and Punjab. Th ECP has authorized the Rangers enter any polling station and arrest any suspect if the need arises. (PhotoNews/Samaa News)