ECP Advised Against Holding Elections in KP

The Election Commission of Pakistan faces security concerns in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa while preparing for upcoming polls in Punjab

Security agencies have advised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to conduct elections in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province due to security concerns. According to them, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan poses a serious threat to the safety of the province.

The security personnel also disclosed that threats existed in a number of Punjab districts. Officials from the Intelligence Bureau, Counter-Terrorism Department, and Inter-Services Intelligence have expressed their concerns about the security situation, which makes it difficult to hold elections in either province.

The Punjab Assembly elections in 36 districts will be held on April 30 despite these cautions, according to the ECP.

The commission has scheduled a meeting for next week to discuss election security in KP with the defence secretary, director general of Military Operations, chief secretaries, and inspector generals of police.

Additionally present at the ECP meeting to discuss the posting on duty were representatives from the Ministry of Defense and sensitive institutions.

350,000 extra workers for the elections have been requested by the ECP from the governments of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The officials announced that approximately 52,000 polling places would be set up in Punjab and 15,000 in K-P during the meeting.

District returning officers (DROs) will identify extremely sensitive polling places that need security guards from other agencies and CCTV cameras.

For the Punjab elections, the ECP has appointed 36 DROs, 297 ROs, and 294 assistant ROs. The duties of DROs in the 36 districts of Punjab have been delegated to the deputy commissioners, and Captain (ret.) Waseem, the Deputy Secretary for Irrigation, has been named DRO, Lahore.

The ECP has emphasised that the selection of officials was done based on their administrative experience and skill. The commission has taken several steps to ensure that the electoral process is conducted smoothly because it is committed to ensuring that the elections are free, fair, and transparent.

.All political parties, candidates, and voters have been urged by the ECP to cooperate with the chosen officials and follow the laws governing the electoral process. The commission has urged all parties involved to forgo any actions that might taint the election’s integrity or cause it to be disrupted.

Following a briefing from all the institutions, the ECP will decide on significant matters pertaining to election security the following week. The CEC has stated that it will be simpler to decide how to conduct the election peacefully after the briefing.

Written by Imad Khan

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