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Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Pakistani Taliban challenge and go to the polls


The Pakistanis defied the Taliban Saturday and came in good numbers to the polls despite the insurgent death threat against those who participated in the day of general election held in this country. The former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and former cricketer turned-politician, Imran Khan, seem to be leading in the elections, according to partial counts on this historic day. Long lines of people were formed throughout the day in front of the polling stations in major cities of Pakistan, where terrorism is endemic but the violence was of low intensity and did not derail the voting process. In fact, the high influx and delays in opening some schools have led to the postponement of at least an hour of the polls closing. During the day, a dozen people died and dozens were injured in various attacks registered in the country. A device located in the vicinity of an office of the secular Awami National Party exploded in Karachi in southern Pakistan, said a police source. Also, several people were injured by the explosion of a bomb in a polling station in Peshawar, said the head of a local hospital. Next to the Afghan border and the epicenter of the local community Pashtun-majority in the neighboring country and to which belong the Taliban on both sides of the divide-, Peshawar is one of the most unsafe cities in Pakistan. But the atmosphere of relative normality in Peshawar election did not differ from the general trend recorded in the rest of the country. A policeman and eight civilians were wounded in the worst armed action from which it was known late in the afternoon in the city, which was framed by an electoral college in Pakistan masculine gender-vote separately-Charsadda area Road. As night fell, at 22:00 local time to begin the counting of votes, four people were killed and seven wounded in an attack on an independent candidate, Khadim Hussain in a remote town in southwest of Pakistan (Nasirabad) .

'We are not afraid'

One hundred people waited to cast their vote in that school a little more than three hours after it exploded a few meters in the morning a bomb with four kilos of explosives, planted on a motorcycle and detonated by remote control. "We are not afraid. After the explosion went but gradually have become , "he told Efe Waheed Ullah Khan, who was preparing to vote and explained that the only change from the outbreak is that people lined up on the opposite side to which the explosion occurred. "The Taliban are our biggest problem but we will resolve it by military means and negotiations , "said another voter, Ibrar Khan, who said that the insurgents killed three months ago his brother Inram in an explosion at a local bazaar. Police Capt. Ijaz Khan, in charge of the safety of another polling, enable a blind school in the east of the city, said early in the evening that "everything is superbly well, here there has been no incident ". "There has been a lot of people that do not have any fear of the Taliban and everything is developing normally , "he added.

Historical Involvement

The electoral commission said during the day that he expected the participation come closer to 60%, which would be the highest since 1977.However, the authorities expect that participation is lower among women , whose electoral participation remains a major unresolved. Moreover, a defendant still suffer educational deprivation and are immersed in the darkness in a country always dominated by men.Assemblies tribal and political groups in the province in which Peshawar is the capital, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have forbidden the use of women's suffrage, which prevented women from several villages of districts in the area to exercise their right to vote. At a polling station Hazane female Pein a popular neighborhood of the provincial capital, voting was suspended a couple of hours after they lodge complaints of a group of women who had gone there to cast their ballots illegally. " The people have brought their to vote for a party and upon arrival they have for a different because they are illiterate and can not read what it says on the ballot, "said Mashal Ijaz Butt, comptroller of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP , left). Butt accused the Islamist Jamaat Islami (JI) and the conservative Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) of women have offered 1,000 rupees (about ten dollars) for every vote, "what triggered the problem and had to close school. " According to a local observer, Shahaf Uddin, the situation was complicated because the police make themselves an endowment to evacuate the women refused to obey because they are male actors, and only did so when asked what her sex police.

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