LAHORE   -  Hectic electioneering for the July 25 vote came to an end on Monday midnight, leaving behind a trail of physical brawls, gun attacks and suicide bombings.

Over 200 people lost their lives in the pre-election violence in a series of incidents across the country.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif concluded his campaign at Dera Ghazi Khan while Hamza Shehbaz led a rally from Lahore’s Mochi Gate to Data Darbar on Monday night.

PTI chief Imran Khan spent a busy day at Lahore, addressing a number of public meetings in different areas of the city. He ended his campaign at Data Darbar, in the constituency of Dr Yasmin Rashid.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari spent last day of campaigning in Jacobabad and Shikarpur.

Two leaders of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Sirajul Haq held power shows in the federal capital on the last day.

Though the political parties had started their campaigns almost a year before the elections, it picked up momentum just a month ago. It was marred by violence close to the elections.

Three provincial candidates, Siraj Raesani of Balochistan Awami Party, Haroon Bilour of ANP and Ikramullah Gundapur of PTI were martyred in separate suicide bombings during the electioneering.

Akram Durrani, contesting election against PTI chief Imran Khan escaped unhurt in two attempts on his life. Miscreants also fired at the election rally of PTI’s candidates Asad Umer in Islamabad. An incident of stone pelting on Bilawal Bhutto’s convoy took place at Lyari as the PPP chairman started off his election campaign.

Election Commission of Pakistan Monday said the election campaign would come to an end throughout the country at the midnight.

A notification issued by the ECP said that under Section 182 of the Elections Act, 2017, no person would convene, hold or attend any public meeting and promote or join any procession within the area of the constituency during a period of 48 hours ending at midnight following the conclusion of polls.

According to an ECP official, electronic and print media should neither telecast nor publish advertisements, or such written material for the purpose of political campaign which tends to malign or favour a particular political party or a candidate during the period.

He said the violators shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs100,000 or both.

 

 

Mubashir Hassan