Dawn News

Election-day violence claims 13 lives in Karachi

Security officials and residents are seen through the shattered windscreen of a damaged vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in Karachi May 11, 2013. — Photo by Reuters

KARACHI:At least 13 people were killed and several others injured in two blasts in Karachi's Quaidabad and Qasba areas on election day, which was also marred by allegations of rigging, mismanagement and delays at several polling stations in the city.

The Jamaat-i-Islami announced a boycott of the elections in Karachi and Hyderabad over alleged rigging of elections  and use of violence and force against its party workers.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also held a press conference and alleged that elections were being rigged under a planned conspiracy in Karachi.

Moreover reports of delays in the voting process were reported from several polling stations in different areas of the city including Nazimabad, Malir, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, some phases of Defence Housing Authority and Manghopir.

An election candidate, Ali Akbar Gujjar,  was also arrested by police in Karachi's Shaheed-i-Millat road for allegedly confiscating a ballot box at a polling station in the area.

Some political party activists resorted to violence and sloganeering near the polling station after which voting was stopped at the polling station.


At least two persons were killed and several others were injured in the explosion in a bus in Karachi’s Qasba No 2-1/2 area, according to police sources.

The victims were rushed to a nearby hospital.

Earlier during the day 11 people were killed and 50 others were injured in an explosion in Karachi’s Quaidabad area.

The explosion occurred near the polling station of Quaidabad.

Moreover, the blast damaged the windowpanes of the several buildings and destroyed eight shops.

Earlier, Awami National Party (ANP) leader, Zahid Khan said that 20 people had been injured in the blast.

The bomb targeted a candidate seeking election to the Sindh provincial assembly for the Awami National Party (ANP).

“The condition of several injured is critical,” said doctor Semi Jamali, head of the emergency department at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi.

The target, Amanullah Mehsud, escaped unhurt, senior police official Mazhar Nawaz said. Another police official, Tahir Naveed, confirmed the attack.

Soon after the attack, chief Altaf Hussain condemned the attack and said that it was nothing but terrorism against ANP.

The election marks the first democratic transition of power in the nuclear-armed state but the run-up to the polls has been marred by attacks that have killed at least 130 people since mid-April, according to an AFP toll.

Many of them were claimed by Pakistan's umbrella Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) insurgent group.

“To revolt against this system, the TTP have planned several actions on May 11, so we appeal to the people to stay away from polling stations to save their lives,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said on the eve of the vote.

More than 600,000 security personnel are being deployed nationwide and around half the estimated 70,000 polling stations have been declared at risk of attack, many of them in insurgency-torn parts of Balochistan province and the northwest.

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Comments (10) Closed

May 11, 2013 01:07pm
I have been desperately urging the Election Commission that without presence of Army and strong security in all the poling stations of Karachi, Hyderabad and other places where there is long history of the armed workers making the voters and poling staff as their hostage and forcing the people to stamp for their candidate. These are the people who have taken entire cities as their hostage since long. and People can not express their free will and opinion in the poling station nor in daily life for the fear of their lives and property. Shame to EC who did nothing to protect the voters and now they say that they have failed to conduct free and fare election at Karachi?
Gazoo Martian
May 11, 2013 12:20pm
MQM statement: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also held a press conference and alleged that elections were being rigged under a planned conspiracy in Karachi. What they mean is that some people are outsmarting them this time. I read in some polling stations MQmers are busy in rigging.
May 12, 2013 02:40am
There are such videos online of rigging as well now...by MQM and PML
Fida Sayani
May 11, 2013 11:41am
The behavior and the activities of MQM over the past 25 plus years is enough to declare them as a terrorist organisation and they should be banned through out Pakistan from participation in all political activities.
May 11, 2013 10:18am
this is so sad. people are being killed for exercising their right to vote.
May 11, 2013 10:09am
where is our army? where is EC? where is any law and order?
May 11, 2013 01:47pm
IK Akhiri Almia joo Pichlae sub Almeo'n sae Afzal hae--Baqi hae abhi. Koi Munsif nahi, Chara Sazz nahi, Taza Zahqmo'n pae joo Marham Rakhain aisae Arbab nahi. Dasta-e-Qatil kae Junona-e-Wahshat ki Ada Baqi hae abhi. Bujha doo Chiragh, Mita doo Hisab, Krro bae Hijab. Phir bhi Shayad---- Ik Akhri Umeeda-e-Kiran Baqi hae abhi. ( Ayesha Khan )
May 11, 2013 05:36am
Big game behind such activities.
akhter husain
May 11, 2013 06:58am
Journey to freedom will not stop,come what may.Nation is enduring it and will keep on fighting.
Shair Khan
May 11, 2013 07:21am
where is the ranger or army to protect people