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July 21, 2019

In a historic first, ex-Fata goes to elections

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July 21, 2019

By News Desk

PESHAWAR: For the first time in the country’s history, the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) went to elections on Saturday, as polling was held for 16 general seats of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly in the seven tribal districts merged into the province.

The polling process, with more than 2.8 million voters registered to cast their votes, concluded peacefully with no major untoward incident. The counting of votes was underway and initial results had started to trickle in within hours after the polling ended.

The polling was held on the seats from PK-100 to PK-115 in Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Kurram, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Orakzai and Frontier Regions. The polling was carried out amid strict security from 8am to 5 pm without any breaks. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had set up 1,897 polling stations, and of them 554 were declared highly sensitive and 466 sensitive.

The tribal people were seen actively participating in the balloting process in all the merged districts and evinced keen interest in the electioneering. Women also turned up at the polling stations to cast their votes. However, women turnout was comparatively low in the certain far-flung areas of the erstwhile Fata.

The officers of the civil administration throughout the day visited the polling stations and supervised the election and security arrangements under their jurisdiction and issued on the spot instructions for the redressal of any problem.

KP Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai congratulated the tribal people over successful holding of the elections in the merged areas.

They expressed confidence the new era of progress and development would begin in the merged areas as the last phase of Fata merger had been completed. The tribal people had now got representation in the provincial legislature which would ensure better resolution of their problems.

They thanked Allah Almighty that the elections were held peacefully across the merged areas as tribal people demonstrated political maturity throughout the election process. They expressed the entire credit for the peaceful conduct of the election goes to the Pakistan Army and that the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan succeeded in the elections.

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