LAHORE - Political and religious party’s leaders, supporters and Tweeterati shared polling day activities on the social media, terming it the victory of Pakistan for conducting peaceful elections.
People expressed their grief and anger on Facebook and Twitter posts in the wake of the Quetta carnage when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a polling station and martyred 32 people. A twitter user tweeted “Balochistan paid the heaviest price for this election only to remain the most neglected after elections.”
Balochistan Awami Party leader Sarfraz Bugti “Saddened to learn about terrorist attack in Quetta. Voters will not be afraid of such tactics and come out for voting. Insha’Allah.”
Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri tweeted, “I am saddened by the terrorist attack in Quetta that resulted in the loss of innocent lives. To fight terrorism, civil-military institutions and the nation should be on the same page. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured.”
Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) leader Moonis Elahi tweeted, “I strongly condemn today's tragic Quetta suicide attack on innocent voters. Elections of Pakistan are under enemy attack. Our vote is our best defence.”
Pakistani voters resilient to terror attacks went to polling stations and cast their votes across the country. After the Quetta carnage, the picture of a young policeman with blood-stained uniform, who was not willing to leave his duty, went viral. Gen (r) Ghulam Mustafa tweeted, “How can anyone defeat a nation whose young sons in police continue on their duty despite being injured?”
Women voters’ right to vote gained immense limelight on the social media on the polling day, National Party (NP) President Hasil Bizenjo who posted the picture of women voters in Balochistan tweeted on his official twitter handle, “Our brave sisters from Panjgur have come out in great numbers to vote despite repeated terrorist threats”.
A twitter user posted, “Daughter taking her mother to polling station on a motorbike in Karachi. These stories make me so happy”.
People posted the pictures of thumbnails mark with electoral stain proudly say who they voted for.
The pictures of disabled and visually impaired voters’ casting their votes also came into limelight and people posted their videos and pictures, urging others ‘What is there excuse of not to vote’. Story of a 90-year-old Abdul Haleem came on a wheelchair at Chaman in Balochistan near Durandline for casting his vote.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan tweeted, “The condemnable terrorist attack in Quetta by enemies of Pakistan, seeking to disrupt our democratic process; saddened by the loss of innocent lives. Pakistanis must defeat the terrorists’ design by coming out in strength to cast their votes.”
As media channels aired the news that Begum Shamim Akhter, mother of Shaehbaz and Nawaz Sharif, came to cast vote at Government College of Technology, Raiwind Road. Former Shehbaz Sharif tweeted, “The beauty of democracy, exercising power of the ballot, it was a moving moment to see my esteemed mother going all the way to cast her vote in a wheelchair. Her prayers are a source of strength to all of us in the family, particularly in these trying times”.
Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted after casting his vote “Voted, every vote counts”.
ISPR thanked Pakistani nation that expressed their respect for Pakistan Army that remained vigilant throughout the polling process. Pictures of citizens presenting flower bouquets to army soldiers, police personal went viral. Voters also praised the polling staff that performed their duty despite harsh weather.
Digital rights activist Nighat Dad tweeted on “Women voting in Dir Bala after almost 40 years. Last time they voted in 1977 elections.”
People on Twitter even awarded the ‘Honest voter award’ to Basit Abdul, a twitter user who tweeted “I voted with guilt. Imran tum se Allah Poochhay ga (aur mujh se bhi). You made me vote for Amir Liaqat”.