Female supporters of a candidate outside a polling station in the Marriabad area of Quetta: Photo Muhammad Ismail

Syed Ali Shah, Manan Mandokhail, News Desk:

QUETTA: As polling stations opened their doors this morning, citizens of Balochistan, like their counterparts across the country, embarked on their democratic duty to cast their votes. Raja Raheel, echoing the sentiment of many, emphasized the significance of voting as a national obligation, highlighting the commitment of the electorate to participate in shaping the future of their province. “Yes, my vote can change Pakistan”, Mr. Raheel said.

Turn Out In Quetta Impressive

Despite the backdrop of security threats and intimidation, the turnout in Quetta, the provincial capital, was remarkable. Particularly noteworthy were the long queues observed outside polling stations in Marriabad, a region predominantly inhabited by the Shia Hazara community. Here, supporters of various local parties stood undeterred, determined to exercise their right to vote despite the challenges.

Substantial Turn Out Of Hazara Women

The resilience of Balochistan’s voters was further evident in the substantial turnout of women, who formed lengthy queues alongside their male counterparts. This display of civic engagement underscores the determination of the electorate to have their voices heard in the democratic process.

The voting process unfolded against the recent backdrop of two coordinated terrorist attacks in the Khanozai and Killa Saifullah areas, underscoring the ongoing security challenges faced by the province. Despite these incidents, the people of Balochistan remain resolute in their commitment to participate in the electoral process, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to democracy amidst adversity.

Stay tuned for live updates as the electoral process unfolds across Balochistan, shaping the future trajectory of the province.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.