Countrywide smooth polling in progress amid tight security

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 25 (APP):Polling for General Election-2018 progresses smoothly across the country amid tight security arrangements to elect 270 members of the National Assembly and 570 members of all the four provincial assemblies for the next five-year term (2018-2023).
Queues outside the polling stations are surging gradually with the passage of time where enthusiastic voters including senior citizens, male and female are standing firmly to fulfill their national obligation by casting vote in favour of their candidates.
As many as 53,000 international, national and local observers and media persons are witnessing the whole election process.
Chief Observer of European Union Election Observation Mission Michael Gahler visited various polling stations in the capital and said his team was closely monitoring the electoral process.
“We will give an overall preliminary statement on Friday because we are not only monitoring the Election Day, but the entire process,” the EU chief observer told media during his visit to a polling station here in NA-130 constituency.
Gahler said the EU Election Observation Mission’s team checked ballot papers before start of polling at 8 a.m. and found the ballot boxes properly sealed. He said the enthusiasm of voters thronging the polling stations was noticeable.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar cast his vote in NA-130 constituency Lahore.
Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcastign, Barriester Ali Zafar cast his vote at a polling station in Johar Town Lahore. Talking to reporters he said the speculations about the timely conduct of general elections 2018 had died down as the nation went to the polls in a free manner.
Political leaders from different parties began casting their votes as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif cast his vote in Model Town, Lahore while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar cast his vote in NA-54 constituency of Islamabad.
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan cast his vote at Dhok Jilani, Islamabad.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) Maulana Fazl-Ur-Rehman cast his vote in NA-238 Dera Ismail Khan while former National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq cast his vote in Garhi Shahu, Lahore.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Shah cast his vote in Sukkur’s NA-207 constituency, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) founder Mustafa Kamal cast his vote in Karachi’s NA-243 while Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar aslo cast his vote.
Yasmeen Rashid, a prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, cast her vote in Lahore.
Around 105.95 million eligible voters including 59.22 million male and 46.73 million female are scheduled to exercise their right to vote to mark another democratic transition from one elected government to another.
About 1,1673 candidates are vying for 270 national and 570 provincial assemblies’ seats.
Election Commission of Pakistan has established 85,058 polling stations, out of which around 17,000 have been declared as sensitive across the country. In order to hold the election in a peaceful manner and provide a level playing field to all the stakeholders, around 7,70,000 security personnel including army-men and police personnel are performing duty in and outside the polling stations.
The ECP has appointed 2720 district returning officers and returning officers and assistant returning officers to conduct the proceeding of the elections in a free and fair manner.
The 10-hour polling that started at 8:00am will continue without any break till 6 pm.