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Election campaign concluding
KARACHI: Election campaign across the country was scheduled to conclude on Thursday midnight. This was first time in Pakistan that the mainstream parties could not run their elections campaign freely. PPP, ANP, MQM, JI and other parties came under terror attacks in different areas, while hundreds of people lost their lives. On Thursday, former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Yousif Raza Gilani’s son was also kidnapped in Multan.
Almost all political parties raised questions over the performance of law enforcement agencies, interim government and Election Commission of Pakistan in view of maintaining law and order situation. It seemed that the government and law enforcement agencies completely failed to control terrorism and violence across the country.
About 17 political parties demanded army deployment inside all polling stations in Karachi to counter rigging in polls but astonishingly, their demand was refused.
Election Commission Sindh Director Muhammad Najeeb said that election campaigns was set to conclude on Thursday midnight. He said that a total of 14,980 polling stations would be formed across Sindh. He said that these polling stations have been divided into three categories; 3064 polling stations were declared more sensitive, 5702 sensitive and 6214 normal. Najeeb said that army would be ready as rapid response force.
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Asadullah Bhutto has said that it was useless exercise if army remains as quick response force or outside the polling stations. He demanded of the government that returning and other polling staff should be restricted to take mobile phones in polling stations. He feared rigging. Asad said that ECP had rejected all their suggestions to stop rigging in polls.
Pakistan Muslim League-N Karachi president Syed Nehal Hashmi said,” It is our national duty to cast votes.” He urged people to step out on May 11 and cast their votes according to their will. He said that pre poll and post poll rigging should not be allowed.
Pakistan Peoples Party Karachi deputy information secretary Suhail Sindhi has said that their party was facing terror attacks. He said PPP’s PS118 candidate Iqbal Saand, NA243 Syed Sohail Abadi and PS91 candidate Liaquat Ali Askani had come under attacks in the city. He said that PPP is the party of martyrs and they would not bow down before terrorists. He demanded of caretaker government to make sure free and fair elections in the city.