Islamabad, July 24: The campaigning for the national and provincial elections in Pakistan scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, concluded on Monday (July 23) midnight with leaders of all major parties rounding off their electioneering and predicting victories for themselves. In city like Lahore, rain played a spoilsport on the final day of the campaigning as the venues of many rallies had to be changed while some others had to be cancelled.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan took part in as many as four rallies on the final day of the campaigning while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif held a public meeting in Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province. Leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) - Bilawal Bhutto Zardari - also addressed meetings in several places like Shahdatkot, Garhi, Jacocabad before paying tributes to his predecessors - Benazir Bhutto and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto - at their graves. Both Benzir and her father Zulfiqar served as Pakistan's prime minister but perished under military rule.
The election campaign ahead of the July 25 election which is expected to see a peaceful transfer of power for only the second time in the history of Pakistan has been marred by a series of terror strikes, including one in Balochistan where over 150 people, including an election candidate, were killed. The political leaders nevertheless continued with their campaigning undeterred.
Voting will begin at 8 am on Wednesday (8.30 am IST) and conclude at 6 pm (6.30 pm IST). The preliminary results are expected to come out around 8 pm onwards (8.30 pm IST).
This election in Pakistan turned more eye-catching with the ouster and imprisonment of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, arguably the tallest politician in the country at the moment. Sharif was sentenced to jail along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain Safdar in connection with a corruption case, leaving his PML-N and its electoral prospects in a jeopardy.