News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » Balochistan cut-off due to protests over poll 'rigging'

Balochistan cut-off due to protests over poll 'rigging'

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 14, 2024 14:47 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Pakistan's restive Balochistan province has come to a standstill and has been facing unrest with several political and nationalist parties launching an indefinite blockade of all national highways from Wednesday against alleged rigging of the election results.

IMAGE: A supporter of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party, the PTI, with the party flag and a portrait of Imran Khan participates in a protest outside the provincial election commission office in Karachi, on February 11, 2024. Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Four political parties, including the Balochistan National Party (Mengal), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), have been jointly holding protests since Saturday in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan province against the outcome of the February 8 polls.


Khushal Khan Kakar of the PKMAP told the media on Wednesday that the blockade would continue until the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordered a recount in all those constituencies where massive alleged rigging has taken place in the province.

"The Baloch people are angry and frustrated over the electoral injustice done in the name of free and fair elections," Kakar said.

Since Saturday, the province has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country as the workers and supporters of political parties held sit-ins and protests and blocked the highway links, but from Wednesday Kakar said all highways were being blocked.

The strike has seen markets and businesses closed and the trade was also hit with Afghanistan and Iran through the Chaman and Tafan borders as roads remained blocked for the last five days.

The strikes have also led to the coastal highway and China Pakistan Economic Corridor highway being unusable as the supporters of the National Party and BNP-Mengal.

The blockade of the highways and the shutter-down strikes have also hit the common man as many passengers who were going from Quetta to Karachi and vice versa are stranded on the Quetta-Karachi highway.

Public and private transport have been unable to move, especially since Monday when the parties stepped up their protests.

Ghulam Nabi Marri, a key figure in the Balochistan National Party (Mengal group) made it clear to both provincial and federal authorities that they would not budge from their protests because the alleged rigging had been blatant in the elections.

The protests are being staged by a four-party alliance of the National Party, Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), BNP-Mengal and PKMAP.

According to reports, a complete shutter down strike was also observed on Tuesday in Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Nushki, Kalat, Mastung, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Zhob, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Sibi, Nasirabad, Dera Murad Jamali, Ziarat, Barkhan and other towns of Balochistan.

Interestingly Khusal Khan Kakar had won a National Assembly seat, as per ECP's unofficial result. But, in a later recount, JUI-F Syed Samiullah was declared the winner.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the National Assembly.

In Balochistan, 23,02,522 votes were cast for 16 seats of the National Assembly. The voting turnout was 42.9 per cent. There were 53,70,804 registered votes.

In the Balochistan Provincial Assembly, PPP won 11 seats, PML-N won nine, Jui-F won eight, and independents won five, while many seats were won by the smaller parties.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024