PESHAWAR, Feb 18: Polling was held peacefully in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) although there were apprehensions that militants might try to obstruct the electoral process. A large number of tribesmen exercised their right to vote.
For the first time in region’s history, women were seen casting vote at many polling stations in Wana, the regional headquarters of South Waziristan. Reports reaching here said that tribal elders had this time allowed them to exercise their voting right.
Women were also allowed to vote for the first time in the Yakaghund and Landi Kotal areas. In North Waziristan, militants also participated in the democratic process and were seen in voters’ queues.
The overall atmosphere in the agency was peaceful and turnout was high. Long queues of voters were seen outside polling stations in Miramshah, Mirali and Razmak sub-divisions. However, women were not allowed to cast their vote.
The turnout in the Mohmand and Orakzai regions, however, was comparatively low.
Elections were held in 10 of the 12 constituencies in Fata.
Polling in NA-42 in South Waziristan and NA-37 in the Kurram region have been postponed for security reasons.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, a conglomerate of militant outfits, had already announced that it would not obstruct the polling process anywhere in the country.
About 18,000 voters in Tiarza area in South Waziristan, most of them Mehsud tribesmen, boycotted the polling. The Election Commission had set up 15 polling stations in Tank district.
In NA-38 in Lower Kurram, voter turnout was quite high and polling was peaceful.
In Mohmand region, however, the turnout was low.
Polling was also held in the Khyber Agency and in the troubled Darra Adamkhel region.
The militant-infested Bajaur region remained peaceful and voter turnout in its two constituencies was high.