Gilgit-Baltistan assembly election concludes amid tight security; counting begins

Wearing face masks, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan voted on Sunday in the third legislative assembly election amidst tight security.

The voting which commenced at 8.00 am (local time) ended peacefully without any break at 5.00 pm and no untoward incident was reported.

The counting of votes has started and complete results are expected by tomorrow. Earlier, the polling officials said that the voters present inside the polling stations would be allowed to cast ballots even after the end of polling time.

There are 24 seats for the contest but polling on one seat was postponed, leaving 23 seats up for grabs. As many as 330 candidates, including four women, are in the contest, they said.

India has opposed Pakistan’s plan to hold election in Gilgit-Baltistan.

It is the third election for the current legislative assembly after political reform introduced in 2010. Out of 1,141 polling stations, 577 have been declared sensitive and 297 highly sensitive. Over 15,000 security personnel been deployed at polling stations. However, army personnel have not deployed.

A fierce triangular contest involving Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreel-i-Insaf (PTI) has been predicted by experts. PTI