Govt assures ECP of ‘full security’ for general elections

“Govt is committed to provide all necessary facilities to ECP for conducting free and fair elections,” says Bugti

By
APP | Web Desk
Tuesday, December 05, 2023
Election officials count ballots after polls closed during the general election in Islamabad, , on July 25, 2018. — Reuters


Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmad Bugti said Tuesday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would have “full security” for holding the general elections in a peaceful environment.

In conversation with a private television channel, the interim minister said the caretaker government would take necessary measures to provide all required facilities to ECP for conducting general elections in a transparent manner.

The minister’s comments came after the commission sought the Pakistan Army’s help in ensuring the law and order situation for the polls — slated to take place on February 8, 2024.

During the elections, the security situation is a grave concern for the authorities concerned and to ensure that nothing goes south, law enforcers are deployed at polling stations and they are also on patrol.

The ECP has informed the interior ministry that it faces a total shortfall of more than 270,000 police personnel, prompting it to request for the army’s assistance “in static mode”.

Some political parties have also raised concerns over the security situation, wondering whether it was feasible to hold the elections or not, but the ECP has clarified that intends to stage the polls on February 8 next year.

In the conversation, the minister also told political parties to cooperate with law enforcement agencies (LEAs) before arranging any public or corner meeting for their election campaign.

“Timely information about public gatherings or meetings would help security institutions make better arrangements for them,” the caretaker interior minister added.

Commenting on rising terrorism incidents in different parts of the country, he said that the LEAs were “fully alert to control the menace of terrorism”.

He said enemies are trying to sabotage the peaceful environment of Pakistan. Bugti added that the security institutions are taking all possible steps to defeat terrorism in a befitting manner.

Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) data showed that the country saw a notable surge in militant activities in November as the attacks rose by 34% following a two-month decline.

A total of 63 attacks took place which resulted in 83 fatalities, including 37 security forces personnel and 33 civilians.