MIANWALI: Women in Paikhel town in the NA-71 (Mianwali-1) constituency were not allowed to cast vote in Thursday’s by-election despite efforts by political activists to convince their elders to allow them to practice their right to franchise.
For the first time in the history of the area, about 70 women cast their vote in the May 11 general election after efforts of young PTI activists. On Thursday, no voter had turned up at any of the six polling stations meant for women in Paikhel town till the time when this report was filed in the evening. These polling stations had nearly 5,000 registered voters.
Ahmed Nawaz Khan, a social worker, told Dawn that local elders made announcements at mosques and other places to discourage women from casting vote.
Advocate Habibullah Khan Paikhel said “our elders did not allow women to cast vote and we respect their decision”.
Wajid Munir Shah, presiding officer at polling station No.117, Paikhel, said there were two polling booths for women at the polling station having nearly 1,500 registered voters, but no woman came to cast her vote.
In Sialkot, by-election in the PP-123 (Sialkot-III) constituency was held peacefully. As many as 327 booths were set-up at 103 polling stations for 168,246 registered voters in the constituency.
Mansha Ullah Butt (PML-N), Dawood Pervaiz (PTI), Mushtaq Mughal (PPP) and Chaudhry Yaseen Gujjar and Hafiz Muhammad Raza (independent candidates) were in the race for this provincial seat vacated by Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
In Okara, PPP and PML-N supporters clashed at polling station No.102 in 2/SP village. The army men deployed at the polling station intervened and restored peace.
In Sargodha, some clashes were reported at polling stations in the NA-68 (Sargodha-V) constituency, but no injuries or casualties were reported.