12 killed in 51 terror attacks on Election Day in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — At least 12 people, including ten security personnel, were killed and 39 others injured in 51 terrorist attacks that took place in Pakistan amid the casting of votes for the general elections on Thursday, The News International reported.

The Pakistan-based daily, quoting the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), reported, “Despite 51 cowardly terrorist attacks, mostly in KP and Balochistan, aimed at disrupting the electoral process, the soldiers remained resolute and effectively ensured peace and security across Pakistan.”

“Through proactive intelligence manoeuvres and swift action, many potential threats were neutralised, underscoring the unwavering commitment of our security agencies to protect the democratic rights of our citizens. During various operations, five terrorists were also killed,” the report read.

In a statement, the ISPR said as many as 12 people, including 10 personnel from security forces and law enforcement agencies, were killed and 39 others injured in these attacks.

Further, according to the report, 137,000 army personnel and civil armed forces were deployed at approximately 6,000 sensitive polling stations and over 7,800 Quick Response Force teams (QRFs) were also on the ground to prevent violence.

“The armed forces alongside other Law Enforcement Agencies are proud to have played a pivotal role in providing security during the conduct of the sacred electoral process, in aid of civil power, and in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan,” the ISPR stated, according to the daily.

“Gratitude is owed to other law enforcement agencies that worked hand in hand with the armed forces to safeguard the democratic process. It is our fervent hope that our sacrifices will not be in vain and this election will serve as a catalyst for further strengthening democracy in Pakistan and that it will pave the way for the realization of the aspirations of the people of Pakistan,” it added.

“The armed forces remain dedicated to upholding peace and security in the country and stand ready to provide unwavering support in safeguarding the democratic traditions of our state”, the ISPR stated further.

Polling for general elections in Pakistan concluded amid allegations of rigging and the shutdown of cellular and internet services, Dawn reported on Thursday.

The voting process began at 8 am and continued till 5 pm. The Election Commission of Pakistan earlier said that exceptions would only be made for people already inside the polling station.

However, the polling is not being considered free and fair, as many allegations were levelled regarding the rigging and people being barred from voting.

In a major development, the Federal Interior Ministry this morning suspended mobile phone and internet services across Pakistan to maintain the law and order situation during the general elections.

Internet monitor Netblocks also said the real-time data shows that internet blackouts were in effect in “multiple regions of Pakistan in addition to mobile network disruptions,” as reported by Dawn. — (ANI)