Shutter down strike in Quetta against the alleged poll rigging in Balochistan: Photo Daily Quetta Voice

Manan Mandokhail: 

QUETTA: In Quetta and across Balochistan, a widespread shutter-down strike paralyzed daily life as citizens protested against purported poll rigging following recent general elections. Four prominent political entities – Balochistan National Party (BNP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), National Party (NP), and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) – spearheaded the strike, denouncing what they claimed to be unprecedented electoral fraud.

Life Paralyzed

Ghulam Nabi Marri, a key figure in BNP, asserted, “Our protest will persist until transparent elections are ensured.” He issued a stern warning to both provincial and federal authorities, emphasizing the severity of the alleged rigging.

Throughout Quetta and various Balochistan cities, markets, shops, and businesses shuttered in solidarity with the strike called by the four major political factions. Concurrently, protest rallies erupted outside returning officers’ offices across the province, with candidates and parties demanding the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct recounts in numerous constituencies.

Protesters Announce To Continue Protest

Abdul Qahar Wadan of PKMAP echoed the sentiment, demanding justice amidst allegations of rampant poll manipulation.

In Quetta’s high-security zone, demonstrators amassed outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office for the fourth consecutive day, decrying the purported electoral irregularities. Meanwhile, Pashtoonkhwa National Awami Party (PNAP), Khushal Khan Kakar, declared an indefinite blockade of Balochistan’s highways, vowing to escalate the protest.

“The blockade will commence on Wednesday,” announced the PNAP Chief, underscoring frustration over perceived electoral injustice.

Common People The Worst Sufferers

However, the blockade’s repercussions extended beyond political discourse, adversely affecting ordinary citizens. Muhammad Nauman, a stranded passenger on the Quetta-Karachi highway, lamented, “We have been stranded for two days.” The blockade disproportionately impacted vulnerable demographics, including patients, women, and children, highlighting the collateral damage inflicted by political unrest in Balochistan.

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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.