UN chief concerned about violence in run-up to Pakistan polls

By Indo Asian News Service | Friday, May 10, 2013 | 11:51:48 AM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

United Nations, May 10 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern about the violence related to the elections in Pakistan.

United Nations, May 10 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern about the violence related to the elections in Pakistan.

Ban hoped that "all eligible Pakistanis peacefully take part, regardless of their religious affiliation, ethnic background, or gender, and carry out their civic duty on this important day", said a statement released here Thursday by his spokesperson, reported Xinhua.

"The secretary-general has been following preparations for the upcoming national and provincial elections in Pakistan on 11 May," the statement said.

"He commends the efforts of the government, the Election Commission of Pakistan, political parties, civil society and religious leaders to encourage voter turnout, particularly amongst women."

In the statement, Ban expressed his concern about "the wave of violence and attacks in Pakistan that has targeted politicians, political rallies, and election offices ahead of the elections."

Since the Pakistani government announced the schedule for the country's general elections to be held May 11, over two dozen political gatherings, rallies and offices of the political parties have been attacked by the militants that have killed over 90 people besides leaving over 300 injured.

At least 118 people were killed and 377 others injured in 29 bomb blasts across Pakistan during the month of April. Out of 29 incidents 14 bomb attack were conducted on political rallies and gatherings and offices of the different political parties, killing 62 people and injuring 233 others.

The UN chief conveyed his "heartfelt condolences to the families of all the victims," said the statement. "He acknowledges the efforts being made by the government of Pakistan to ensure the safety and security of candidates, party workers, election officials, observers and voters on the day of the elections."

"The secretary-general wishes every success to the government and people of Pakistan for the national and provincial elections in Pakistan," the statement said.

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