Quetta, July 25: Elections for the 65 provincial assembly seats and 16 national assembly seats were held in Balochistan on Wednesday. The counting of votes is slated to begin following the conclusion of polls at 6pm. Stay tuned here for the live updates of election results and early trends.
The Balochistan provincial assembly is currently being ruled by the National party (NP) in coalition with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The latter had won 12 seats in the 2013 elections, whereas, the NP had won 10. The post-poll coalition was also supported by other regional parties. Abdul Malik Baloch of NP was elected as the Chief Minister.
Amid the voting being held earlier in the day, a blast was carried out by suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Quetta. While no deaths were reported yet, at least 40 were left injured.
In the run-up to the polls, the Tehreek-e-Taliban had carried out a blast during an election rally of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Quetta, which ended up claiming 128 lives and leaving over 150 injured.
Imran Khan, the patron of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and one of the leading prime ministerial candidates in the fray, campaigned in Balochistan on the plank of making it safer akin to the neighbouring Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Khan said KP was equally affected by extremism until 2013, when his party first came to power in the state and succeeded in countering the threat posed by the insurgents.
Along with Balochistan, elections were held today for the provincial assemblies of Sindh, KP and Punjab, along with the polls for the 272 general seats of the national assembly.