New Age Islam
Mon Oct 26 2020, 11:23 PM

Current Affairs ( 9 May 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pakistan Elections: Bomb Blasts kill eighteen, many injured in Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta


Women Stopped From Voting In Waziristan, A Notorious Taliban Stronghold

Blast in Peshawar, Targetting Female Voters, Wounds Eight

Terror Threats: Taliban Plotting Major Attacks, Cabinet Told

Bombings Kill One, Injure Seven In Balochistan

Pakistan: Jamat-E-Islami Alleges Vote Rigging, Boycotts Elections


Pakistan Elections: Twin Bomb Blasts Kill Eighteen, several injured in Karachi’s Quaidabad


KARACHI May 11, 2013: A bomb blast targeting an election candidate killed eighteen people and wounded dozens near Dawood intersection in Quaidabd area of Karachi as historic elections got underway on Saturday, police told.

 "We have received 11 dead bodies and several injured people," said doctor Semi Jamali, head of the emergency department at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi.

 The target was an election candidate of ANP (Awami National Party). He was travelling in his car when the bomb exploded," senior police official told.

 The target of the attack, Amanullah Mehsud, escaped unhurt, police official said.

 Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility.

  "We proudly claim responsibility for this attack, we carried it out and will carry out more of the same," Ehsan said of the first deadly attack on polling day.

The election marks the first democratic transition of power in the nuclear-armed state but the run-up to the polls has been marred by Taliban attacks that have killed more than 120 people.

  More than 600,000 security personnel are being deployed nationwide and around half the estimated 70,000 polling stations have been declared at risk of attack, many of them in parts of Balochistan province and the northwest.

 A senior PPP official said party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari -- the son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto -- would not vote because of threats to his life.

 On Friday, a candidate for the provincial assembly in Sindh was shot dead along with two supporters in Karachi.



Women Stopped From Voting In Waziristan, A Notorious Taliban Stronghold

MIRANSHAH, May 11, 2013: Women were stopped from voting in Pakistan's elections on Saturday in the north-western tribal district of North Waziristan, a notorious Taliban stronghold, residents said.

North Waziristan is one of seven semi-autonomous districts on the rugged border with Afghanistan which are a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. Tribesmen were informed through mosque loudspeakers early Saturday that no woman would be allowed to leave home and cast a vote, according to a local resident in North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah.

In North Waziristan, many women live in Purdah, confined to women-only quarters at home and prevented from leaving the premises without a male relative. On Wednesday pamphlets were handed out in Miranshah warning tribesmen not to let women vote in Saturday's general election, threatening punishment for those who did.

"Take our words, this kind of disgraceful act will not be tolerated and anyone influencing women to cast a vote will be punished," said the pamphlet, signed by "Mujahedeen" and thrown from vehicles into shops.

  Women's turnout was weak in the most conservative, rural parts of Pakistan at the last elections in 2008, particularly the tribal belt, the north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and south-western Baluchistan provinces.

 Of the more than 86 million registered voters in Pakistan for Saturday's election, 37 million are women and 48 million men. In 2008, not a single vote was cast at 564 of 28,800 women's polling stations -- 55 percent of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, officials said. In the most conservative areas, officials estimated women's turnout at just 10 to 15 percent of those registered.



Blast in Peshawar, Targetting Female Voters, Wounds Eight

PESHAWAR: A bomb attack targeting female voters in Peshawar wounded eight people as historic elections got underway, according to police.

 "The bomb was planted on a motorcycle. Several people including police have been injured. The motorcycle was parked outside a women's polling station," a senior police officer, told.



 Terror Threats: Taliban Plotting Major Attacks, Cabinet Told

ISLAMABAD: May 11, 2013

In their bid to sabotage the historic May 11 polls, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other outlawed militant groups are likely to target the leaders of political parties, foreign election observers, polling staff and journalists. The militant groups are carrying out their plans with the backing of foreign countries.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and the federal cabinet have been informed of these threats by intelligence agencies.

According to documents available with The Express Tribune, Premier Khoso and the cabinet were warned about the threats during a cabinet meeting held on May 4 at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

Interior ministry officials had apprised the meeting that 52 visas had been issued to long-term election observers from the European Union (EU), 46 visas for short-term EU observers and 70 visas to members of the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Documents show that the head of the Inter Services Intelligence is in favour of proper vigilance as well as cohesive responsibility about the threats.

He also spoke of credible intelligence that was available about concrete efforts to target election candidates before and during the elections.

“It would be appropriate if the prime minister called an all parties conference and took them into confidence about the measures being taken for security to alleviate their fears,” he added.

The head of the Intelligence Bureau warned there was a threat to the political and religious leadership in Islamabad. He said that polling stations were required to be protected in all parts of the country.

“The polling material also requires to be taken care of. In Sindh we have to work hard not only in Karachi and in interior Sindh but also tribal enmities in Kashmore, Khund Kot, Shahdad Kot, Umerkot and Sanghar have to be kept in view,” the DG IB stated.

Similarly, he said, the spectre of tribal feuds in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa could not be ignored. In certain districts of southern Punjab, sectarianism was rife, the documents said.

The DG IB suggested that a flag march of the armed forces as per a previous cabinet decision should be carried out to discourage terrorists from launching attacks.

The interior secretary said there were threats of coordinated attacks by the TTP and its allied groups against political party leaders, candidates and the Election Commission of Pakistan staff. He said they could also attack foreign observers and journalists.

The flashpoint areas were identified in southern Punjab, Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh, Peshawar, Charsadda and Mardan in K-P, Quetta, Khuzdar, Mastung in Balochistan and Bhara Kau and Margalla Hills in the Islamabad Capital Territory.


Bombings Kill One, Injure Seven In Balochistan

May 11, 2013

QUETTA: At least one person was killed and seven injured in two different bomb explosions in Balochistan’s insurgency hit Naseerabad district on Saturday as people visited polling stations to cast their votes.One person was killed and three injured in a remote controlled blast in Naseerabad district’s Haft Wali area, police said. Police said militants targeted voters who were returning from casting their votes in Haft Wali. A remote-controlled device was used in the explosion. One voter was killed and another three injured during the attack. Police said the voters were coming in a tractor trolley when attacked by militants. In another incident, four persons were injured in a landmine explosion in Shehnshah area of Naseerabad. Police said militants targeted voters after casting their votes in the second attack as well.


 Pakistan: Jamat-E-Islami Alleges Vote Rigging, Boycotts Elections


Karachi,  May 11 2013: Pakistan's right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party today decided to boycott the general elections for national and provincial assemblies, claiming massive rigging and mismanagement at several polling stations.

Jamat-e-Islami (JI) decided to withdraw candidates from Karachi and Hyderabad. The party has called a peaceful strike on May 13 to protest poll rigging.

The party has also been complaining of delay in the start of voting process. Reports said that the closing time of the voting could be extended across the country as the turnout is high.

JI leader Munawar Hasan also complained that party supporters and workers were not being allowed to vote at many polling stations.

Hasan also accused the Mutthaida-e-Qaumi Movement (MQM) of being directly involved in the incidents of violence and rigging.

He said despite their warnings about rigging, the election commission of Pakistan had not put polling stations under the controller of the army as they had demanded.

"We had warned before the elections this would happen and today in many polling stations of Karachi and Hyderabad the polling was not free and transparent," he said.

Meanwhile, the MQM also claimed there was rigging and mismanagement at several polling stations in the city.

"We fear that around 119 polling stations in some very sensitive areas have been affected. We fear there is wide scale rigging going on in these polling stations to kill the mandate of the MQM in Karachi," senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar told reporters.

Sattar said that at many polling stations presiding and returning officers had deliberately not shown up while at many stations ballot boxes were not available.

"We have recorded a delay of around three to four hours in the start of the voting process," he said.

He said that the MQM had already informed the Election Commission of Pakistan about the feared rigging and mismanagement and also that at many polling stations their supporters were being harassed and the law enforcement agencies were doing nothing to stop this.