Updated February 8th, 2024 at 08:42 IST

Pakistan Goes to Polls Amidst Polarisation and Violence

Political violence has marred the lead-up to the elections, with two blasts in Balochistan killing at least 30 people and injuring 40 others.

Reported by: Digital Desk
An election rally in Pakistan | Image:AP
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As Pakistan goes to polls on Thursday, the nation finds itself engulfed in persistent polarization and violence, posing significant challenges for the democratic process.

To address concerns over security during voting, the Interior Ministry of Pakistan has established a dedicated 'control room' to closely monitor security arrangements nationwide.

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Here is what you need to know

In the midst of this political turmoil, two prominent figures stand in stark contrast: Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan. Sharif, the supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), seeks an unprecedented fourth term after staging a powerful political comeback following four years of exile in London due to corruption charges. On the other hand, Imran Khan, founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), faces incarceration in Adiala jail on multiple charges, including the infamous cypher case and 'un-Islamic' marriage case.

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Despite his legal battles, Khan remains resolute, dismissing the charges against him as "politically motivated." In a video message, he urged his supporters to turn out in large numbers, promising a 'surprise' in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif has articulated his vision for Pakistan, emphasizing the establishment of good relations with India and advocating for an independent foreign policy focused on development rather than revenge.

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With Khan out, Bhutto is Sharif's main rival

Sharif's main rival, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), presents himself as a young alternative to the veteran politician. His party's manifesto promises to double the real incomes of wage earners and address poverty and inequality.

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Violence remains a challenge

However, political violence has marred the lead-up to the elections, with two blasts in Balochistan killing at least 30 people and injuring 40 others. The caretaker administration, led by Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, has struggled to address the country's economic challenges, setting the stage for a turbulent transition of power.

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(With inputs from ANI)

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Published February 8th, 2024 at 08:42 IST