UN chief urges Pakistani politicians to maintain ‘calm’ as votes are being counted

Author:PTI 2024-02-09 12:50 12

United Nations/Islamabad, Feb 9 (PTI) UN chief Antonio Guterres on Friday urged political leaders and society segments to maintain a “calm atmosphere” as the results of the elections are being tabulated.

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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.

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In a statement to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the Secretary-General said "As Pakistan awaits the results of the elections, I encourage all political leaders and society segments to maintain a calm atmosphere."

“I continue to follow the situation in Pakistan closely, including the general elections that took place today,” the UN chief said.

“I am also concerned about reports of incidents of violence and casualties, and the suspension of mobile communications services,” he said.

“...as well as refrain from the use of violence and any actions that could increase tensions."

“It is important that all candidates and supporters 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. “

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.

Despite 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.

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.

Title:UN chief urges Pakistani politicians to maintain ‘calm’ as votes are being counted