Polling at a station in NA-125 halted for three hours as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf voters protested against Pakistan Muslim League candidate Khawaja Saad Rafique for intervening in the polling process on Saturday.
Several people at the polling station in Girls Superior School, Lalik Chowk, Defence Housing Authority, said Rafique arrived at the polling station with as many as 30 supporters at 11am. He went downstairs to the women’s polling booth and got into a scuffle with the polling staff. Several PTI supporters there chanted slogans against Rafique and PML-N workers retaliated in kind. Police intervened and stopped polling at the station.
Several people there said Rafique had stopped polling there on purpose because he knew there were many PTI supporters there. “The three-hour halt in polling prevented many PTI supporters from casting votes,” an irate PTI supporter there said.
Some PML-N workers lodged a complaint with the election commission saying the polling staff was taking too much time to process the votes.
A PML-N worker said that he had spoken to Rafique about what happened. The former MNA had not interfered in the electoral process, he said. He said several PTI workers were wall chalking outside the polling station. Rafique intervened to stop them. Rangers intervened and diffused tensions between PTI and PML-N supporters, he said.
When polling resumed after three hours, there were at least 500 women waiting to cast their vote at the station.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2013.