Report by Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Tribune International (Australia)
8 Feb 2024: Nominees from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) garnered unprecedented support, signalling a potential landslide victory if the election commission and establishment refrain from tampering with the vote count—a firsthand account from the ground in Pakistan.
However, irregularities marred the electoral process in several regions. Election Commission staff arrived tardily at numerous polling stations across various cities, hindering the timely commencement of voting in Karachi, interior Sindh, Balochistan, and Northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPT). Reports indicate that the caretaker government, sensing an impending defeat, resorted to obstructive tactics to impede PTI’s electoral success. Despite a significant voter turnout, the election commission and establishment persisted in their efforts to deter voters, including the suspension of internet and mobile networks.
Furthermore, polling agents representing PTI-nominated candidates faced obstruction in carrying out their duties, with the voting process deliberately slowed under the guise of ballot paper shortages and the provision of additional ballot boxes. Instances of voter intimidation were also reported, with families strategically divided across different areas to complicate voting procedures.
Nevertheless, PTI supporters remain resolute in their determination to exercise their franchise amidst these obstacles. Should the integrity of the electoral process be maintained, PTI stands poised to make history with a resounding victory unprecedented in Pakistan’s electoral landscape.
The announcement of the vote counting results is anticipated to commence from midnight.