Pakistani people are casting their votes in the general
elections on Monday.
The polling started at 8 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) and will
continue till 5 p.m. (1200 GMT).
All the security arrangements are in place at the polling
stations. However, only a few voters were seen at some polling
stations in Islamabad.
Mohammad Babar Afridi, the principal of Progressive Model School
in Rawalpindi, which serves as a polling station, told Xinhua that
people were concerned about their own security and they needed
encouragement to come to polling stations.
At a polling station for National Assembly 49 at Islamabad Model
College for Girls, five policemen are on duty and five polling
personnel are supervising the voting.
The polling staff told Xinhua that the police would have a
security check on voters before they enter the polling station. The
voters are required to show their identity cards to the polling
staff who will censor their eligibility. After that, eligible
voters will be given a green ballot paper on which the names and
election symbols of contesting parties are printed. The voters will
also be given a stamp with which they can choose their favorite
There are two transparent ballot boxes and men and women will
cast their votes separately.
Polling stations have been set up across the country. According
to a report of the state-run TV channel PTV, over 37,000 polling
stations have been set up for the 297 seats of Punjab assembly, 13,
000 polling stations for 130 seats of Sindh assembly, 8,000 polling
stations for 99 seats of North West Frontier Province ( NWFP)
assembly and 3,000 polling stations for 51 seats of Balochistan
The total number of registered voters is over 89 million and 47
political parties are taking part in the elections, said the
There are 272 seats of national assembly, among which 148 are
from Punjab, 61 from Sindh, 35 from NWFP, 14 from Balochistan, 12
from Federally Administered Tribal Areas and two from the federal
The PTV report said over 571,000 polling staff would supervise
the conduct of the polling. After completing the counting of the
votes at polling stations, the returning officers will announce the
(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2008)