Karachi (July 9, 2017): Polling for PS-114 Karachi by-elections has ended at 5 pm on Sunday after continuing uninterrupted since 8 in the morning.
Around 2000 Rangers personnel were deployed in the polling stations to ensure smooth polling process. MQM (Pakistan) Kamran Tessori, PPP’s Saeed Ghani and PTI’s Najeeb Haroon contested for the seat.
Around 9:30 in the morning, a clash erupted between two party workers groups after PPP Candidate Saeed Ghani was refused his entry into a polling station despite having ECP letter.
Voting was temporarily suspended at polling stations 79, 85, 86, 87 and 90, established inside Owais Qarni public school, following the incident but resumed after additional contingents of the Rangers were called in.
However, an Election Commission of Pakistan spokesperson said later that the voting process did not stop despite the disturbances outside.
Clashes between PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan workers were also reported from Defence View locality.
Sindh Rangers DG Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed, speaking to the media after visiting Chanesar Goth, said two people have been arrested after supporters of two parties clashed with each other.
He also inquired from voters regarding the problems faced by them.
Questioning from the arrested persons is under way, he informed further.
Speaking to the media later, Ghani said “our intentions are clear”. He said a relative of his, who is mentally disturbed, has been detained by the Rangers.
During a visit to the constituency early Sunday morning, the Rangers DG assured voters to exercise their right of casting the ballot without fear.
There are a total of 193,000 registered voters in the constituency, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The constituency comprises the localities of Mehmoodabad No 1 to Mehmoodabad No 6, Chanesar Goth, Manzoor Colony, Akhter Colony, Azam Basti, Kashmir Colony, Defence View and the KAECHS (Karachi Administration Employees Cooperative Housing Society).
All 92 polling stations of the constituency have been declared ‘sensitive’ in terms of security.
In a statement, Sindh IG AD Khawaja issued instructions to ensure the polling was carried out in a transparent and impartial manner. He said the relevant SHOs will remain in their areas till the voting is concluded.
The provincial police chief also directed to ensure the implementation of Section 144, which has been imposed in the area in light of the by-election. In light of the law’s imposition, security officials confiscated mobile phones of the polling staff, saying they would be returned upon conclusion of polling.