The long and eventful day of voting in Pakistan to elect its new prime minister ended at 6 PM on Wednesday. Despite the unprecedented security, the 11th general elections in Pakistan were marred with violence as 31 people, mostly voters, killed in a suicide blast outside a polling booth in Quetta.
Apart from that, a grenade attack at a polling station in Koshk village of Balochistan’s Khuzdar left a policeman dead and three others injured. Incidents of firing were also reported at several polling stations across the country.
Earlier, millions of voters flocked to polling booths across the country to choose their new leader. According to a data released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, a total of 3,459 candidates — 1,623 from Punjab, 824 from Sindh, 725 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 287 from Balochistan — were in the fray for the 272 seats of the national assembly.
The counting of votes at several polling stations began soon after the voting ended and the final results were likely to be out by the late Wednesday night. The majority mark to form the government in the 272-member National Assembly is 137. If no single party secured required numbers, a coalition government will be formed.
Pakistan Elections 2018: As it happened
#08:30 PM: Imran Khan's PTI takes an early lead over PML-N as counting of votes is underway in Pakistan, according to Dawn news. The PTI was leading in 35 seats against PML-N's 20 seats.
#07:00 PM: Counting of votes begins. Trends will start pouring in soon and the final results are likely to be out by 2 am late in the night.
# 06: 42 pm: Polling for the 11th election in Pakistan officially closed; those inside the polling stations will still be able to cast their votes.
# 06: 33 pm: Pakistan Election Commission summoned PTI chief Imran Khan on July 30 for breach of secrecy of ballot: the PTI chief's vote was televised on electronic media
# 06: 31 pm: Voting concludes in polling station number 76 in NA-10 constituency
# 06: 00 pm: The Election Commission of Pakistan has received 600 complaints so far, from all over Pakistan regarding the ongoing elections, according to Geo News.
# 05: 41 pm: Pakistan Election Commission rejects requests to extend polling time; The PML-N, PPP, ANP and the Awami Muslim League, among other parties, had requested the Election Commission to extend voting time.
# 05: 01 pm: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sent a notice to PTI Chairman Imran Khan for voting in full public view and in front of the cameras, which is a violation of the ECP's code of conduct.
# 04: 28 pm: Polling suspended in Shahpur polling station of NA-10, Shangla, Khyber after clashes between Awami National Party (ANP)and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP); several injured
#04: 26 pm: Three injured in firing incident in Dadu; 7 arrested
# 04: 10 pm: Pakistan Peoples's Party (PPP) chief Asif Ali Zardari cast vote in Nawabshah
# 03: 48 pm: Four dead in Battagram's Allai tehsil as a mini jeep carrying voters falls into gorge.
# 03:40 pm: COAS Gen Bajwa casts his vote in Rawalpindi.
# 02:55 pm: Sanam Bhutto votes in NA-200 Larkana.
# 02:48 pm: The media discussions pertaining to PTI chief Imran Khan and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif were a violation of ECP code of conduct: The Election Commission of Pakistan.
# 02:12 pm: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq casts his vote in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
# 02:10 pm: Former Minister of Affairs Khawaja Asif casts his vote in Sialkot.
# 01:59 pm: PML-N posts Election Day audio message from Nawaz Sharif.
# 01:42 pm: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari casts his vote in Larkana NA-200
# 01:35 pm: Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist. Pakistan's democracy is in danger because of these kind of people: Union Minister Hansraj Ahir on Hafiz Saeed.
# 01:27 pm: Some voters at a poll station in Lahore say Army isn't allowing entry. Women say 'They're saying there are many women inside and we won't be let in'; voters also say 'They're saying there are 2 booths inside so they won't allow those who are allotted 3rd booth'.
# 12:30 pm: 31 killed, 36 injured in violence across Pakistan on Election Day
# 12:16 pm: 25 killed, several injured in Quetta blast.
# 12:15 pm: Mawra Hocane votes, hopes to see a 'Naya Pakistan'.
# 12:01 pm: Two people were injured after polling station in Naseerabad, Balochistan was fired on.
# 11:57 am: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority directed the private satellite TV channels to stop airing any content related to Pakistan's 11th general election.
# 11:56 am: 15 dead, 20 injured in Quetta NA-260 blast.
# 11:53 am: Islamabad: Imran Khan casts vote in Bhara Kahu polling station.
# 11:40 am: AML chief Sheikh Rasheed casts his vote.
# 11:39 am: 5 dead, 12 injured in Quetta blast.
# 11:44 am: Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and Mumbai 26/11 attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed casts his vote at a polling booth in Lahore.
# 11:30 am: Several injured in a blast near eastern bypass in Balochistan's Quetta, according to Pakistan media.
# 09:57 am: Daughters of Benazir Bhutto- Bakhtawar and Aseefa cast their votes in Sindh's Nawabshah.
# 09:50 am: There's a healthy turnout of voters in Quetta so far.
# 09:48 am: Mustafa Kamal, chief of the Pak Sarzameen Party, has cast his vote in NA-243.
# 09:40 am: Voting yet to begin in several polling stations due to load shedding.
# 09:37 am: The people of Pakistan - especially women - the power is in your hands. Get up, go and vote! Democracy shall win, tweets Malala Yousafzai.
# 09:35 am: Clash between PTI, ANP and PML-N workers reported from different places across the country. Clash between party workeers left 1 dead and 2 injured.
# 09:32 am: Farooq Sattar of MQM-P fame has cast his vote; says will push for new province.
# 09:29 am: PPP leaders Murad Ali Shah and Khursheed Shah have cast their votes in Sehwan.
# 09:22 am: Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif urged the voters 'not to waste time' and cast their votes for a better future of Pakistan.
# 09:13 am: PTI chairman Imran Khan will cast his vote at 10:30 am.
# 08:59 am: Women queue up outside a polling booth in Lahore to cast their votes.
# 08:40 am: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif stand in a queue outside a polling station in Model Town to cast his vote for Pakistan general elections 2018.
# 08:09 am: Election postponed in eight constituencies in Pakistan.
# 07:52 am: July 25 has been declared a public holiday by the Pakistan government so that the 11the geeneral election since 1970 may witness maximum voter participation.
A fierce battle is expected between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's PML-N and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab, the most populous province often known for deciding the next government in the country.
The election campaign concluded at Monday midnight after about two months. All parties have claimed that they will grab most of the seats.
While several polls put Khan's party marginally ahead of the rivals’ other surveys suggest the result is too close to call.