Islamabad, July 25 (IANS) Voters in large numbers started flocking outside polling stations across the country to cast their vote in Pakistans 11th general election, according to DawnNewsTV.
The first vote was cast in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda.
While polling stations officially opened for voting at 8 a.m., enthusiastic citizens queued up outside their respective stations as early as 7 a.m.
The battle is set to come down to three parties: Shahbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
July 25 has been declared a public holiday by the Election Commission of Pakistan, in an effort to increase voter participation.
A record number of 3,71,388 security personnel have been deployed at polling stations across the country to maintain law and order and take action against harassment, after the nation witnessed one of the bloodiest campaigning.
According to a poll official, 5,878 polling stations have been declared “highly sensitive” — official euphemism to mean they are prone to violence — in Sindh; 5,487 in Punjab and Islamabad; 3,874 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA and 1,768 in Balochistan.
Polling stations will remain open for voting till 6 p.m.