Main Balochistan Assembly Chowk Blocked: Photo Daily Quetta Voice

Syed Ali Shah, Manan Mandokhail:

QUETTA: Protests are underway in various parts of Balochistan against the alleged poll rigging. On the fourth consecutive day since the results started coming in, the candidates who did not make their way to the Balochistan Assembly blocked highways linking the province with the rest of the country.

“Our protest will continue until justice is done”, Mir Kabeer Muhammad Shahi, the central leader of the national party (NP), a Baloch nationalist party announced. He was addressing a demonstration outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Quetta on Monday evening.

Balochistan Parties Unite in Protest Against Election Rigging

Four political parties including the Balochistan National Party (Mengal), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) have announced joint protest demonstrations against what they claimed against election rigging in the province.

“We are determined to get our voters’ rights”, Haji Atta Muhammad Bangulzai, another leader of the NP said. He claimed his victory was turned into defeat by the returning officer.

The protesters have blocked the main Inscobm Road Chowk in Quetta’s high security zone suspending traffic in the city. They also established a joint protest camp to mount pressure on the election commission of Pakistan to reconsider its results about their constituencies.

Highway Blockades Paralyze Balochistan Amid Election Controversy

“ROs snatched our democratic right”, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, the central leader of PKMAP said. He said the ROs and the Election Commission of Pakistan were responsible for what he called record rigging in the province.

Various political parties including the Awami National Party (ANP), NP, Jamiat ul Ulema e Islam, and some candidates have blocked main highways linking Balochistan with Karachi, Sindh, Punjab, and other parts of the country.

Common people remained the worst sufferers of the blockade of highways in Balochistan. “We are at the mercy of protesters for the last two days”, Abdul Shakoor, one of the passengers stranded in Kalat told the Daily Quetta Voice via telephone. Mr. Shakoor stated that women, children, aged people, and patients remained the worst sufferers because of the blockade of the highway.

The Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) has also leveled serious allegations and claimed it was deprived of three national assembly seats and nine provincial assembly seats.

The political parties have also announced a joint shutdown strike on Tuesday across Balochistan in this regard.

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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.