The chiefs of the three biggest competing parties the General Election 2018, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, cast their votes as polling went underway on Wednesday.
Shahbaz among first to vote
Shahbaz was among the first people today to cast his vote in Lahore ─ just minutes after polls opened at 8am.
Sharif, the younger brother of disgraced ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, stood in line waiting his turn to enter the polling booth.
While speaking to the media, he claimed that an "overwhelming majority" of people want to vote for PML-N. "The sacrifices rendered by Mian sahab [Nawaz] and his daughter [Maryam Nawaz] are for Pakistan," he added.
The younger Sharif took over the party after his brother was found guilty of corruption. The ex-prime minister has since been sentenced to 10 years in jail, which he is serving while appealing the conviction. The younger Sharif
Sharif marked his ballot for both the National and Punjab provincial Parliaments and is contesting elections in four National Assembly seats and in two Punjab provincial legislature seats.
Will Imran's vote be counted as valid?
PTI Chairman Imran Khan cast his vote at a polling station in Bhara Kahu, NA-53 (Islamabad II). After exiting the polling station, he spoke briefly to the media.
"We have worked hard for this. My message is that don't let this opportunity go to waste. Vote for whoever you like but make good use of your vote," he said.
However, Express News later reported that the ECP had taken notice of Khan's vote in NA-53, as the PTI chairman's voting exercise had been captured on video in violation of the ECP's "secrecy of ballot" code.
Bilawal says democracy is the best revenge
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari tweeted a selfie of himself with an inked thumb, with the accompanying hashtag 'democracy is the best revenge'.
Bilawal cast his vote at a polling station in NA-200 Larkana. Media personnel and his security team were barred from entering the polling station by soldiers deployed there.