QUETTA - By-elections were held in Balochistan on one national and three provincial seats on Thursday. The constituencies where voters exercised their right to franchise were NA-262 (Qila Abdullah), PB-229 (Naseerabad), PB-32 (Jhal Magsi) and PB-44 (Lasbela).

The polling started at 8am and continued till evening at 5pm without any break. There were total 391 polling stations, out of which 298 were declared as sensitive and highly sensitive. The voter turnout was from moderate to low.

According to unofficial results, the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) candidate Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan won the NA-262 seat by defeating JUI-F’s Qari Muhammad Sher Ali in a close contest.

As for the provincial assembly seats, independent candidate Nawabzada Tariq Magsi won PB-32, Prince Ahmed Ali of PML-N retained PB-44 seat and Mir Muhammad Khan Lehri of PML-N inflicted a crushing defeat on the former Excise Minister Amin Umrani on the PB-29.

The PMAP accused that MPA Engineer Zamrak Khan Achakzai and his associates attacked and injured their three party’s members during the polling in NA-262 (Qilla Abdullah). Addressing a news conference, PMAP provincial leader MPA Nasrullah Zeery said that their party chief Mehmoood Khan Achakzai won two NA seats on May 11 general elections and he vacated the NA-262 seat which they have reclaimed in the by-election. This clearly showed that people had trust in the party, he added.

“Our victory was not acceptable to our opponents and that is why they attacked on our party members in Jungle Pir Alizai area and injured our three party members,” Nasrullah said, adding that one of the injured was in critical condition. He said that during the indiscriminate firing by ANP, they killed their own party member and now they were accusing PMAP for his murder.

Chairman of JUI-F’s media cell Behram Khan Achakzai alleged in a press conference that their opponents held hostage the polling staff in 44 polling stations and kidnapped their polling agents. “Our opponents did huge rigging and polled fake votes in bulk.” Beharam claimed. He urged the election commission to cancel the by-elections in NA-262 (Qilla Abdullah); otherwise, they will stage protest demonstrations.