Karachi: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought the deployment of personnel from both Sindh Rangers and the army for maintaining peace on the polling day for the upcoming local government elections in the province.
The Provincial Election Commissioner Sindh, Aijaz Anwer Chohan, sent a request letter to the Islamabad-based ECP Secretary. The polling for the first phase of the local government elections will be held in 14 districts of Sindh on June 26. The local government polls in the second phase will be held in the remaining districts of Sindh on July 24.
“The undersigned has examined the issue in-depth and is of the considered view that besides police force, static deployment of Rangers and Army personnel at all polling stations are necessarily required to ensure free, fair, and peaceful elections in all 14 districts on 26th June 2022,” said the Provincial Election Commissioner in the letter.
The ECP has sought the deployment of the troops of both the military and para-military force to maintain peace after the recent episode of the violence-marred by-election in Karachi. One person was killed and several were injured as gunmen associated with the rival political parties clashed with each other on the day of a by-poll in a constituency of the National Assembly in Karachi on June 16. Less than nine per cent of votes were polled in the by-election as worsened law and order situation of the constituency kept the voters away from the polling stations.
While chairing a meeting to finalise arrangements for the local government polls, the ECP Secretary, Omar Hamid Khan, said the provincial administration was primarily tasked with the responsibility of maintaining law and order situation for the peaceful conduct of the polls.
He said the ECP had the utmost resolve to take firm penal action against the elements that acted to sabotage the peaceful conduct of the polls without taking into consideration the political affiliations of the saboteurs.
A total of 21,298 candidates have been contesting the first phase of the local government elections. As many as 9,276 polling stations are being established to conduct the polls as 2980 of them have been declared highly sensitive, from the security point of view, whose monitoring will also be done through closed-circuit television cameras.