Islamabad: Pakistanis will go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new prime minister
Elections are held amid accusations of manipulation by the military and concerns over the participation of Islamic hardliners
3,459 candidates are contesting from 272 general seats of the National Assembly, There are 105.96 million registered voters in the country.
The run up to the elections have seen a massive crackdown on the media and allegations that the military has secretly backed the campaign of former cricketer Imran Khan while targeting his political opponents.
Pak Army chief , has said the Army will only facilite the elections
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) who was jailed this month after being convicted in a corruption case also accused the military of pressuring the judiciary to convict him.
The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said there were “ample grounds to doubt” the legitimacy of the elections
Controversy has also arisen over allowing militant groups to participate in the poll.
Mumbai-terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led banned Jamat-ud Dawah’s candidates are fighting with an aim to make Pakistan a “citadel of Islam.”
Saeed’s son and son-in-law are contesting
In the run up to the elections, the country witnessed a series of attacks on candidates and campaign rallies, including one that killed 151 people in Balochistan province.
A strong contest is expected between Sharif’s PML-N and Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab