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MANSEHRA, May 23: Not a single woman turned up to cast her vote during re-polling at two women polling stations in PK-60 Battagram, though the election staff remained on duty from 8:00am to 5:00pm on Thursday.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had ordered re-polling at the two polling stations for May 23 after receiving complaints concerning the May 11 elections that women were deliberately stopped from casting vote.

“Yes, the presiding officers and other polling staff remained present at the two polling stations (No 1 and No 6) during the scheduled time, but no woman came to cast her vote,” said Zeeshan Khan, the assistant election commissioner, Battagram. Zubair Khan, an independent candidate, had demanded re-polling at Hotil Batkul and BHU Kanai polling stations, claiming that women were forcibly stopped from exercising their vote right on May 11.

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) candidate Shah Hussain was earlier declared successful by the ECP following May 11 election.

The female voting at most of the polling stations in upper parts of Hazara, including Battagram, Kohistan and Torghar district, was not held on May 11 because of the local culture and tradition and in some areas women were barred from using their right.

“The ECP had ordered re-polling at these two polling stations where over 2,800 women voters are registered,” said Mr Zeeshan. He said that a total of 1,450 votes were registered at Hotil Batol and 1,428 at BHU Kanai polling station. He said that the returning officer of PK-60 Rashid Rauf also visited the polling stations.

The election official said that as no vote was cast, the previous result would be retained wherein Shah Hussain had polled 8,382 votes and Zubair Khan 7,954 votes.

CORRUPT PESCO OFFICIAL HELD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a recovery officer of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) for sending inflated bills to consumers and then receiving bribes for their correction in Balakot.

Shabab Hussain, a consumer in Balakot, had moved the FIA against a Pesco recovery officer, Zahoor Ahmad, alleging that the latter wanted him to pay bribe of Rs5,000 for correction of his electricity bill of Rs74,000.

Accompanied by civil judge, Balakot, the FIA team gave the complainant stained currency notes and conducted raid when the Pesco official was receiving the same from him and putting them into his pocket.