Pakistan Army personnel did not allow media persons to enter the polling stations in Lahore and some other parts of Punjab province after 3 PM today.
A fierce battle is expected between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab, the most populous province often known for deciding the next government in the country.
In a surprise move, the army personnel deployed at the polling stations stopped reporters from entering there despite having been issued accredited card by the Election Commission of Pakistan. “We have orders from the top not to allow media persons at the polling station,” said an army personnel deployed at Mohni Road Lahore, the ancestral constituency (NA-125) of the Sharif family.
The army personnel stopped both local and foreign media persons from entering the polling stations in other constituencies also. Similarly, reporters were not allowed to enter the polling stations in Lahore Cantonment. “Without the permission letter of Inter Services Public Relations (the media wing of the military), the media persons are not allowed to enter the Cantt area,” an army official deployed at an entry point in Lahore said.
PML-N has raised questions over the army stopping media persons from entering the polling stations. “We should be given reasons as why the media was stopped from entering the polling stations in Lahore,” Hamza Shahbaz, nephew of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, demanded.