Election Watch Update - April 26

Election-related violence continued in Pakistan on Thursday, with attacks in Nushki and Karachi. The TTP has reportedly issued pamphlets, warning people against participating in the election. Social taboos and threats from militants will disenfranchise women in this year’s election as well.

Dawn looks at the situation in Khanewal, where candidates from the PPP, PML-N and the ASWJ are all campaigning on the strength of a Deobandi platform. There are also splits within the ASWJ as the Malik Ishaq-led group has fielded its own candidates.

The PPP has forged a reconciliation of the Mahar and Dharejo families in Ghotki, after the PPP’s Ghotki head Sardar Ahmed Ali Khan Pitafi decided to support Khalid Ahmed Lund, an independent candidate, over the PPP’s Mahar nominee. The PPP has also decided to suspend members who are contesting against party nominees in this year’s election. Nineteen candidates are contesting NA-200 Ghotki-I. The seat was last held by Mian Abdul Haque – or more popularly known as Mian Mithu – who won on a PPP ticket but was not given one this year for his alleged role in the forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam in the district. He is contesting as an independent this year.

The ANP has objected to the JI using mosques to campaign.

The Pakistan Ulema Council says voting is a responsibility mandated by Islamic Shariah.

Dawn profiles the Sargodha constituencies and Peshawar’s NA-I seat. The Friday Times looks at the impact of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party in Balochistan.