Election Watch Update - April 27

An ANP office in Karachi was attacked on Friday and a JUI-F leader’s convoy was targeted in Bolan. The PPP’s has scaled down its election campaign over security threats. According to party leader Amin Fahim, the PPP will be using ‘social media, SMS texts, personal contacts and very limited corner meetings’.

Candidates for the elections in Waziristan are campaigning in Rawalpindi and Islamabad to constituents now based in the cities for fear of being attacked. The TTP has decided not to attack independent candidate Adnan Wazir after he clarified that he was not an ANP candidate. His rally was attacked by the TTP in FR Bannu last month. In Swabi, the ANP may gain more voters sympathetic to the party that has been attacked repeatedly over the past five years.

People found guilty of preventing women from voting in the elections will be imprisoned for up to five years in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to the caretaker government in the province.

The number of polling stations that are a security risk and declared ‘sensitive’ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas has quadrupled since the 2008 elections.

The ECP has reiterated to candidates and political parties that personal attacks on their opponents are a violation of the election code of conduct. While President Asif Ali Zardari had reportedly asked the ECP to bar candidates from targeting him – PTI head Imran Khan called the president a ‘jinn’ and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has criticized him in campaign speeches - the PPP has launched an election ad targeting former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif (PML-N).

The News looks at the NA-I Peshawar-I constituency, being contested by Ghulam Ahmed Bilour (ANP) and Imran Khan (PTI).

The Express Tribune profiles the Haripur constituencies, also being contested by members of the late former army chief Ayub Khan’s family.

Dawn looks at Okara, the stronghold of the Wattoo family, and the antagonism for the PPP in the district.

Dawn profiles PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan – the former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly – and his role in the party’s nomination process for candidates.

Dawn analyses that Faisal Saleh Hayat (Independent, formerly of the PPP and the PML-Q) may rejoin the PPP if the party needs candidates to form a coalition after the May 11 elections.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who spent his time in exile in Saudi Arabia, met with ambassadors from the Gulf in Islamabad on Friday.

Pir Pagara – the head of the PML-F and the spiritual leader of the Hurs in Sindh – has consolidated his influence in the province since he succeeded his late father in 2012. On Friday, he met with Peoples Muslim League head and former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim (formerly of the PML-Q and the PML-Q likeminded) to discuss seat adjustments.