‘No guarantee of peace during elections’, KP top officials tell ECP
- The IG says that a total of 495 incidents of terrorism took place in KP last year.
- IG and Chief Secretary express security concerns during upcoming elections.
- The chief secretary says that additional funds are required to conduct the elections.
In view of the recent uptick in terrorism and the militants’ “spring action” – which marks the beginning of the fighting season – the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Police (IGP) have issued a statement on security during the upcoming Concerns have been expressed about Elections In the province
Officials said “spring action” is expected to intensify in the province from April to October.
Briefing given Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during a meeting presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja on Friday clearly stated that they will not be able to vote during the upcoming elections due to bad law and order situation, financial problems and shortfall of 56,000. Can’t guarantee peace. Police man.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IGP Akhtar Hayat Gandapur highlighted the alarming increase in the incidence of terrorism in the region.
He disclosed that various terrorist groups operating from different provinces of Afghanistan including Badakhshan, Nuristan, Kantar, Nangarhar, Paktika and others have been involved in terrorist activities in the province.
According to the police chief, a total of 495 incidents of terrorism took place in the province in the year 2022, while 118 incidents have already taken place this year, as a result of which 100 people were killed and 275 injured.
The increase in terrorist activities has raised serious concerns about the security situation in the region.
He said that the law and order situation in several southern provinces including North Waziristan, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan is not suitable for elections.
Moreover, he said that the situation in the newly merged districts of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was also not conducive for holding elections.
The IGP said that providing security for elections is not a one-day activity and the police have to ensure the security of election rallies, rallies and political leaders during their campaign.
He further said that holding separate provincial and national assembly elections would double the expenses and increase the risks for the law enforcement agencies.
He further said that this would create a double threat to the voters and the polling staff.
KP Chief Secretary Imdadullah Bosal said that the provincial government is facing a significant financial deficit of Rs 19 billion, an additional Rs 1.6 billion is needed to hold the provincial assembly elections.
He also clarified that these expenses will be in addition to the expenses incurred on the ECP elections.
During the meeting, it was emphasized that the deployment of Pakistan Army and FC is indispensable to maintain peace during the election process as the provincial police cannot face the challenges alone.
The Pakistan Army also performed security duties during the 2013 and 2018 general elections and it was noted that the law and order situation in 2018 was much better than in 2013.
The ECP then reiterated that holding peaceful and timely elections is a constitutional and legal obligation.
The ECP acknowledged the problems facing the provincial government but stressed the importance of fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to ensure free and fair elections.
The commission also held consultations with stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, Defence, Interior, Intelligence Agencies, Intelligence Bureau, ISI, CTT, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali.
In his remarks, CEC Raja emphasized the need for transparency and peace during the elections so that voters can freely exercise their right to vote.
The Commission will now take appropriate decisions after considering all the facts and consulting all relevant stakeholders.