Political unrest grips Balochistan, Karachi as parties cry foul over election results

Political unrest grips Balochistan, Karachi as parties cry foul over election results

KARACHI, FEB 11: Widespread protests erupted across Balochistan and Karachi on Sunday as several political parties rejected the recently announced election results, alleging widespread rigging.

Following hotly contested polls, major parties including the National Party, PPP, JUI-F, BAP, BNP-Mengal, PkMAP, and PkNAP, have staged sit-ins at district returning offices, demanding recounts and challenging the declared outcomes.

Discontentment ran high in Quetta, with protests engulfing major thoroughfares like Sariab Road, Buleli Road, and Anscomb Road. Similar demonstrations raged in Chaman, Chagai, Dalbandin, Loralai, Qila Abdullah, Kharan, and Sibi, effectively shutting down vital national highways in Naseerabad, Jafarabad, Sohbatpur, Kalat, and Nushki.

The protests transcended provincial borders, reaching Karachi, where Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI, and PTI announced demonstrations against claimed election manipulation. JUI plans protests in Sohrab Goth, Quaidabad, and Northern Bypass, while Jamaat-e-Islami mobilizes supporters at Stargate, Korangi, Shahrah Pakistan, UP Mor, Orangi, Hassan Square, Quaidabad, and Nazimabad. The PTI aims to rally outside the Election Commission office.

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, the capital police has asserted that Section 144 is in force in the city and that legal action will be taken against any illegal assembly of people. “Some people are inciting illegal gatherings around the election commission office and other government institutions. It should be noted that incitement to gather is also a crime,” it said in a tweet on X.

The police said in the post that a peaceful protest within the law is everyone’s right, adding that they will take legal action on any illegal step. “Obeying the law is everyone’s duty. Citizens are requested to avoid being part of illegal activities,” the police stated.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has maintained the integrity of the electoral process, citing strict adherence to established protocols. However, the widespread discontent and escalating protests highlight a brewing political storm that could potentially destabilize the region.