How international media is covering Pakistan's elections

Global media closely cover general elections, focusing on security, candidates, and mobile service suspension

News Desk February 08, 2024
The voters enter a polling station in a school on the day of the general election, in Islamabad, Pakistan February 8, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS

Today, as Pakistan conducts its general elections, the global spotlight is on the nation where millions of citizens participate in shaping the future of their country. The international media is closely monitoring this democratic exercise, providing insights and analyses on the importance and repercussions of Pakistan's electoral process.

Prominent international news outlets, including BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera, have allocated extensive coverage to Pakistan's general elections. From live updates to comprehensive analyses, these media organisations are actively reporting on diverse facets of the electoral process, encompassing the security situation, candidate profiles, and the suspension of mobile services.

US based CNN report on the day reads “Polls close across Pakistan after millions vote in election mired in controversy”.

It included reports on the twin reports in Balochistan on Wednesday and a summary of violence today. The media organisation quoted the Interior Ministry statement disclosing its decision to temporarily suspend mobile internet services nationwide as the elections were ongoing and included responses and comments from PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and various activists to the decision.

CNN coverage also noted the international community closely monitoring the elections, in particular highlighting the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Türk, call to the authorities to ensure a “fully free and fair vote” on Tuesday.

It concluded with mentions of the leaders of the major political parties including Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal, specifically noting the current predicament Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Khan find themselves in.

Britain’s BBC reported: “Pakistan elections 2024: Polls close after mobile internet cut”. They started their coverage by reporting on the suspension of mobile services and the inconveniences caused by it. They then informed that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz had cast their ballot in Icchra, Lahore. Notably they were able to speak with Sharif, “Speaking to the BBC outside the polling station after casting his vote, he said he had ‘never had any problems with the military’, perhaps forgetting he'd spent much of his long career at loggerheads with the generals.”

They then gave an overview and background of the situation heading up to the election, noting PTI losing its election symbol and concerns regarding militancy and the economy.

Read also: Delays, complaints, memes: Pakistanis are getting the most out of the 2024 elections

Meanwhile, Qatar-based Al Jazeera closely followed the happenings with a live blog that is now closed: “Pakistan election 2024 updates: Voting ends in polls marred by violence”.

In the live blog summary it highlighted the conclusion of the polls, the shutdown of mobile internet, and the violence which occurred during the day. They also gave an explanation of the electoral setup of Pakistan.

Chinese Xinhua reported: “Voting for Pakistan's general elections concludes, counting starts”. In its matter of report on the election, Xinhua noted the starting time and end time of the polls, the rejected request by political parties to extend the polling time.

They then gave official ECP number for candidates and the number of registered voters, the number of general seats being contested in national and provincial assemblies.


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