Last Updated: Feb 08, 2024
Pakistan began counting votes after polling ended on Thursday (08th February 2024) in the general election marred by terrorist attacks. Despite the heightened security, nine people, including two children, were killed in bomb blasts, grenade attacks and firing incidents, said authorities.
Victims included five policemen killed in a bomb blast and firing on a patrol in the Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan district in the northwest, authorities said. Two children died in a blast outside a women’s polling station in Balochistan. One person was killed when gunmen opened fire on a security forces vehicle in the Tank district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Thousands of troops were deployed on the streets and at polling stations across the country as voting commenced and borders with Iran and Afghanistan were temporarily closed. Mobile phone services were also suspended temporarily. The interior Ministry said it took the steps after at least 26 people were killed in two explosions in the southwestern province of Balochistan on Wednesday (07th February 2024). Islamic State later claimed responsibility for those attacks.
Besides terrorist violence, the election is also being held amid a deep economic crisis and in a highly polarised political environment. Despite the security worries and bitter winter cold, long queues began forming at polling stations hours before voting was due to start.
TV channels are expected to make projections of first results on Thursday (08th February 2024) itself but a clear picture is likely to emerge early on Friday as counting continues through the night.
Many analysts believe the vote may not produce a clear winner.