Campaigning for Feb 18 polls in Pak ends

February 16th, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by admin  

Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, Feb.16 (ANI): Campaigning for the February 18 elections in Pakistan ended on Saturday evening with no clear indication about which party would emerge victorious or be defeated.
The election, which are being seen by analysts and experts, as an event to facilitate a transition to civilian rule after nine years of military supervision, has been overshadowed by fears of violence and accusations of poll rigging.
Though President Pervez Musharraf is not taking part in the elections, the outcome of the February 18 vote could have significant implications for him and for his ties with the United States.
Pakistani citizens are particularly concerned about the violence and the price rise gripping the country that is presently in a politically fluid state.
Some citizens have gone on record to say that chances of change in Pakistan are remote.
In anticipation of possible poll-related violence, the interim government has ordered the deployment of over 80,000 troops and declared 30 percent of the 64,000 polling stations opened across the country as sensitive, and 14 percent as most sensitive.
In the volatile tribal belt, 1, 122 polling stations have been declared most sensitive.
Prominent political leaders Mohammad Nawaz Sharif of the PML-N and Asif Ali Zardari of the PPP have warned that the party rank and file will hit the streets if the elections are rigged, or if either of them is denied victory.
President Musharraf has said that there will be no cheating in the mother of all elections.
Gallup Pakistan has said that it found 51 percent of the people that it surveyed expressing doubts about a free, fair and transparent election being held in Pakistan.(ANI)

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