Pakistan Election: 16 Dead as Voters Attack with Clubs, Stones, Chairs

AFP Photo/Arif Ali
AFP Photo/Arif Ali

At least 16 people died in election-related violence in Pakistan on Saturday. The major clashes took place in districts in Sindh and Punjab provinces.

A fight began at polling stations in Village Wayio Jaunejo in Sindh between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), which left twelve dead and 50 injured. Officials and witnesses claimed both sides attacked “with sophisticated weapons, wooden clubs and stones.” The police reported that they “rushed to control the situation,” but villagers told the media the officers did nothing to stop the fight. It was the residents who “shifted the injured and dead bodies.”

In Khairpur, the groups fought with chairs and fists. The fight ended when they all pointed guns at each other, but no one died. Police arrested one PML-F worker. Other injuries occurred in Jacobabad, Ali Nawaz Panwar, Union Council Loghi, and the women’s polling booth in Shikarpur.

A fight in the Sargodha district of Punjab killed at least three people. Witnesses said the rival groups opened fire after they accused each other of fraud. An activist died after the rivals started a gunfight at a PTI rally in Faisalabad.

Another struggle erupted in Bhakkar, which left twelve injured. Authorities arrested a PPP lawmaker in Okara after he “slapped the election official after an intense argument.” A fight between two independent candidates in Nathuwala forced officials to stop polling.

Results showed that PML-N won in Punjab with 143 seats. PPP is currently leading in Sindh with 70 seats.

Secretary Election Commission Babar Yaqoob confirmed the commission received numerous complaints about fraud. He told the media they deployed 192,000 staff members to monitor polling stations.

Saturday’s polling was the first portion of the election. The second part will take place in late November, while the last phase will occur in December.