Sunday Dec 19, 2021
KARAK: At least two people were killed and three others sustained injuries in a firing incident Sunday at a polling station in the Takht-e-Nasarati Tehsil of the Karak district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Geo News reported.
The incident happened when the polling for KP's local body election was underway. However, the polling was subsequently stopped after the situation turned chaotic there.
According to the report, one of the deceased was a paternal cousin of PTI's MNA Shahid Khattak, while the other was his bodyguard. Per eyewitnesses, the assailants fled the scene after opening fire at the polling station.
On the other hand, armed men attacked polling stations in Zakha Khel and Landi Kotal areas of Khyber District, as a result of which ballot boxes were smashed and polling materials were also damaged.
Armed men also broke into the polling station at Malik Nadir Shah School in Landi Kotal Bazaar, smashed ballot boxes, damaged election materials, and took the election staff hostage.
Due to the disorder, polling has been suspended in 20 polling stations.
Earlier today, the polling process in Baka Khel tehsil of Bannu district was also halted after the security situation got out of hand.
A statement issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said that the new date for polling in Baka Khel will be announced later. No announcement has so far been made regarding reelection in the other affected districts.
KP is holding the first phase of the local government elections in its 17 districts today. The polls will be held in the rest of KP next month.
Polling started at 8am and continued till 5pm.
Leader of the Opposition in KP Assembly Akram Khan Durrani had levelled allegations against a provincial minister of PTI of storming into five polling stations in Baka Khel and taking the polling staff hostage.
Durrani said while speaking to Geo News that provincial minister Shah Muhammad Khan abducted the polling staff of five polling stations and took the polling material with them.
He said that the abducted polling staff members are "kept at a petrol pump".
Durrani also accused Khan of opening fire on the police. He said that the relevant deputy commissioner and a district police officer have been informed about the matter but the administration seems helpless in this regard.
The ECP's spokesperson said that KP's chief election commissioner has formed a special committee to probe the matter.
The three-member committee, comprising Secretary Zafar Iqbal, General Law Additional Khurram Shehzad and KP Election Director Khushal Zada, will present its report after an investigation in seven days.