UN chief Guterres stresses “calm atmosphere” in Pakistan
UNITED NATIONS: (Web Desk) As the results of the elections are being delayed, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Pakistan’s political and civil leaders to maintain a “calm atmosphere”.
In a statement sent to the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan, the UN secretary-general said he was “concerned about reports of incidents of violence and casualties”, as well as the suspension of mobile communications services.
The statement said, “As Pakistan awaits the results of the elections, I encourage all political leaders and society segments to maintain a calm atmosphere, as well as refrain from the use of violence and any actions that could increase tensions.”
It said, “It is important that all candidates and supporters to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are fully respected in the interest of the Pakistani people and resolve any disputes that might arise through established legal procedures.
The counting of votes began following the conclusion of the polling on Thursday. Despite polling concluding at 5 pm in the general elections, the nation is waiting for the results after more than seven hours have passed at midnight.
Soon after the voting started, mobile services in Pakistan were suspended due to the “deteriorating security situation”, a day after twin terror attacks killed at least 30 people in Balochistan province.
In spite of the suspension of cellular and internet services, a large number of people across Pakistan exercised their right to vote to elect lawmakers for national and provincial assemblies – on 855 constituencies.
As per ISPR, at least 12 people, including 10 security personnel, were killed on election day as the forces repulsed 51 terrorist attacks aimed at disrupting the polling. Nearly 650,000 security personnel were deployed across the country to ensure peaceful polls.