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NA-250 (Phase IV) - A polling station where no one could vote

Press Trust of India  |  Karachi 

It is 6 PM and thousands have voted across Pakistan but at NA-250 (Phase IV), people are still standing in queue since morning to vote.

Yes, in a polling station in DHA Phase IV Karachi (NA-250), voting was yet to start.

"It's 5:30 pm . I was supposed to be at work by now with my colleagues, anticipating the result to what was being termed as a 'historic' election.

"Instead I have now returned home after standing for 10 hours in line without being able to vote. It wasn't as if the line up was too long (which it was, but I was number four in line), it was just that polling hadn't started in our station yet," wrote an exasperated Shyema Sajjad, Deputy Editor with Dawn on the daily's website.

She said contradictory statements kept coming in all day from the staff inside.

"First they said there were no ballot boxes present. The crowd was astonished - they thought this would be the biggest setback - no one had any idea at that time that from a required staff of 65 ECP officials, only 12 were present.

"That number eventually diminished to nine when some of them managed to sneak out from the gate and disappeared, without looking back," she wrote.

"...It's almost 6:00 pm now, my family member still in line tells me there is still no sign of voting starting yet".

The Election Commission of Pakistan in a statement said its chief has raised his concerns with the Corps Commander, Karachi and DG Rangers that polling staff in many constituencies in Karachi have been threatened, which has prevented them from performing election duties.

"In other instances, attempts have been made to hijack the vehicles transporting voting material from the Returning Officers to the polling stations. This has caused serious delays in polling, especially in NA-250," it said.

First Published: Sat, May 11 2013. 20:20 IST