Record turnout of women, differently-abled voters makes history
Polling staff assist elderly, differently-abled persons
Several historical scenes were witnessed at polling stations where a large number of female voters were seen in queues and, at some polling stations, outnumbered males to cast their votes despite hot weather as the country went through polls on Wednesday.
The similar passion was witnessed by differently-abled persons who thronged polling just to elect the new leadership. Where Pakistan made a history as women cast their votes for the very first time in Dir, Kohistan, North Waziristan and South Waziristan, long queues of female voters were also seen in different polling stations of Lahore despite the fact that the weather remained extremely hot and humid till the afternoon.
Female voters came to the polling stations with their children and they were also even carrying toddlers in their laps to use their right to vote.
Furthermore, differently-abled persons were also seen at most of the polling stations in the city while using their wheelchairs and clutches and they were also given priority by the polling staff and security officials to cast their votes.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had already issued special directives to give priority to disable, elderly persons, pregnant woman and woman carrying toddlers.
Rehmat Bibi, 70, while sitting at a polling booth in Government Ayesha Siddiqa Model Degree College at Nikalson road that falls in NA-124 (Lahore-II) said, “I came here from Bhai Pheru-the area some 50 kilometres away from Lahore-just to cast my vote today in this humidity.” I spent most part of my life in the walled city and then we moved to Bhai Pheru-a small city of district Kasur just a few years ago and our votes are still registered in Lahore’s constituency, she said.
Usman Ali, a physically paralysed who was coming back from a polling both in Government High School Shahdara (NA-123) with the help of his clutches, said that the polling staff gave him preference over other voters just due to his disability and he didn’t face any hurdle in the whole process of the polling. He told this scribe that his vote was for only Pakistan.
On the other hand, a slow process irked voters at some polling stations. People in Government Ayesha Siddiqa Girls College and Lahore College for Women University polling stations and other polling stations complained about the cumbersome process and lack of cooperation on the party of the polling staff.