Pakistan goes to polls to elect new Parliament amid political and economic turmoil

Last Updated: Feb 08, 2024

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Pakistan will go to polls today to elect a new Parliament. As many as 44 political parties will compete for 336 seats in Pakistan’s National Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament, along with four provincial assemblies. The leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif and the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto are the main candidates in the election.

Nawaz Sharif, who has returned from exile, has promised a ‘Message of Peace’ to India in his party manifesto. Last year, Sharif acknowledged India’s progress and global advancements. At the same time, former PM and the former chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, who has more than 150 cases filed against him, has been sentenced three times in a week. He is already barred from contesting elections and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has been denied from using its symbol ‘bat’ for elections.

Meanwhile, two bomb blasts near candidates’ offices in Balochistan killed at least 28 people and wounded dozens on the eve of general elections. The first blast killed 16 people in Pishin district, north of Quetta city. The second explosion left 12 people dead in Qila Saifullah to the east. The Islamic State (IS) group said it was responsible for both attacks. The bombings were carried out using motorbikes rigged with explosives.

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