Army to be deployed at sensitive polling stations: ECP
03 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has chalked out a initial security plan for the general election and it has been decided that the Pakistan Army would be deployed in areas and poling stations declared sensitive by the provinces or FATA to maintain law and order.
The decision was taken during a high-level meeting. The ECP wants elections for the national and provincial assemblies on the same day, however, constitutional issues would be considered while taking a decision on it. The ECP has proposed deploying army troops within and outside each poling station in Karachi. Speaking at a media briefing at the conclusion of the meeting, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed said that Chief Election Commissioner Fakruddin G Ebrahim presided over the meeting.
It was attended by provincial election commissioners, secretaries of defence, interior, foreign affairs, establishment, SAFRON, information, NADRA chairman, IGs of police, chief secretaries, home secretaries of all the provinces and other officials concerned. They presented their proposals for maintaining law and order before, during and until completion of the election process.
All the four provinces and FATA authorities have assured the ECP that they are ready to play their role for holding peaceful and transparent election, and have assured implementation of the code of conduct and security plan in letter and spirit, Ishtiaq Ahmed said. Defence Secretary Lt General (r) Asif Yasin Malik has assured the ECP that Pakistan Army would fully cooperate for holding of transparent elections.
The ECP secretary said it is not possible to post army soldiers at each polling station, however, their deployment would be part of the security plan for sensitive areas. Soldiers would be posted within and outside the polling stations in Karachi, as it is the demand of the political parties, he informed. Ishtiaq Ahmed further informed that process for delimitation of election constituencies and verification of voters' lists in Karachi would continue and would be completed as per schedule.
Platoons of Frontier Constabulary on VIP duty in other provinces would be called back in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. CCTV cameras will be installed at all poling stations that are declared sensitive. Movement of Afghan refugees will be banned on the election day and instructions would be issued two weeks before the polls to limit their activities to their camps.
The ECP secretary said that there was a consensus that political meetings should be held within walled areas and there should be a ban on road rallies to save general public from inconvenience. It was decided that female polling staff would be posted near their homes.