Security Concerns Raised During ECP Meeting Over Forthcoming Elections in KP

June 4, 2023


Security Concerns Raised During ECP Meeting Over Forthcoming Elections in KP

Shaeran Rufus

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was alerted on Tuesday that the possibility of terrorism during the forthcoming elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the National Assembly by-elections cannot be disregarded.

During a security review meeting, KP Police Chief Moazzam Jah Ansari stated that 150,000 security personnel are required, but there is a shortage of 57,000 personnel.

Members of the ECP, the commission secretary, the chief secretary of the KP, and others were present at the meeting, which was presided over by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. IG Ansari stated that even using the police from Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, the shortfall could not be resolved. The police had also voiced worry that, despite having enough officers on hand, the police would not be able to ensure free and fair elections.

More than 400 attacks on Police in KP

The IGP claimed that terrorists routinely targeted the police, noting that 46 assaults had already happened this year. In 2022, there were 494 attacks against the police in KP. He said that 93 police officers had already passed away this year, adding to the 119 murdered in 2022 and that the army and Frontier Corps will be needed to help make up the shortfall in police officers.

In order to deploy military and paramilitary troops for the elections, the commission has been in contact with the defense and interior ministries, as per the chief election commissioner. He requested that the IGP urgently alert the ECP so that they may swiftly request the assistance of the military.

In order to guarantee fair elections, the CEC highlighted the necessity of choosing impartial officials to oversee the voting process. The CEC also requested that the KP chief secretary and the IGP notify the commission of any concerns. In all districts, impartial officials would be chosen in compliance with the ECP’s rules, the chief secretary promised.

Jamat-e-Islami’s Allegation

The ECP postponed till February 22 the hearing on Jamaat-e-allegation Islami’s over suspected results tampering in Karachi’s most recent local government elections. JI was asked to deliver the original Form 11 to the commission by a four-person panel, chaired by Member Sindh Nisar Durrani. The panel said that JI’s concerns were “premature,” and that only once the findings were collated would the issue become apparent.

Saeed Ghani, the head of the PPP, advocated repeat voting at the disputed polling places when he appeared before the committee. Additionally, Ali Zaidi, the president of the PTI in Sindh, had petitions assessed by the commission. The majority of the returning officials who were transported from interior Sindh were accused of engaging in serious election cheating to defeat PTI by the PTI lawyer.

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