Protests against alleged ‘rigging’ continue in Balochistan

Published February 15, 2024
QUETTA: Supporters of the Hazara Democratic Party stage a sit-in on Wednesday against alleged rigging in the elections.—AFP
QUETTA: Supporters of the Hazara Democratic Party stage a sit-in on Wednesday against alleged rigging in the elections.—AFP

QUETTA: The traffic remained suspended for several hours on Wednesday on all highways linking Balochistan with other provinces and Afghanistan as protest sit-ins and highways’ blockade at several places continued in several parts of Balochistan against the alleged rigging in Feb 8 general elections.

The National Highways and roads have been blockaded at several places in the province on the call of different political and national parties against the alleged poll rigging.

The PkNAP Chairman Khushal Khan Kakar gave the highway and roads blockade call against his own poll result change on which the party workers blocked the Quetta-Chaman Highway at Baleli, Kuchlak, Lakpass, Ziarat Cross, Qila Saifullah and Zhob Highways.

People traveling on these highways faced great difficulties especially women and children.

Trucks carrying Afghan transit goods and other import and export items were also stuck up on the highways.

Caretaker minister Achakzai claims almost all political parties have accepted poll results

The National Party continued blockade of the National Highway at Buleda Cross, D-Baloch Turbat and CPEC Highway against the alleged poll rigging.

Sutter-down strikes were also observed in various parts of Balochistan on the call of four nationalist parties: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Hazara Democratic Party, Balochistan National Party and National Party.

Protests, rallies and sit-ins were held in the border town of Chaman and Qila Abdullah by the Awami National Party and Jamiat-i- Ulema-i-Islam.

A four-party alliance of PkMAP, Hazara Democratic Party, Balochistan National Party, and National Party has announced that they will hold rallies and protests on Thursday. They also announced that protest rallies will also be held on Saturday.

In Quetta, the protest sit-in continued on the sixth day by workers and supporters of different political parties in front of the office of DRO, Quetta.

Protesters have set up their camps for continuing their sit-in round the clock.

According to reports, the Quetta-Karachi Highway and Quetta-Sukkur Highway were opened late at night for traffic for the time being.

PPP workers and supporters have been protesting and blocking the Sibi-Sukkur Highway for the last six days in protest against the change of result of PB-14, Dera-Murad Jamali-Tumbo, from where the PPP candidate Baba Ghulam Rasool Umrani was earlier declared winner. However, Mir Khan Muhammad was later declared successful.

Minister claims all parties have accepted results

Balochistan’s caretaker Minister for Information Jan Achakzai has claimed that almost all political parties have accepted election results, and the people of Balochistan have given their mandate to different political parties in the Feb 8 general elections.

Speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday, the minister said that political parties should understand the seriousness of the situation regarding poll results.

“The political parties expressing reservations over the results should approach the Balochistan High Court and other institutions concerned,” Mr Achakzai said.

He asserted that nationalist political parties did not achieve significant success in the Feb 8 elections, and their candidates having reservations over the results should approach courts and plead their cases there.

He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples’ Party have accepted the election results.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2024

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