Wednesday, February 01, 2023
ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali has advised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to “consult and take into confidence” political parties and law enforcement agencies before fixing a date for the polls.
“In view of the alarming law and order situation in the province and series of terrorist attacks during the past days, it would be advisable that before fixing a date for the general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan should consult and take into confidence the relevant institutions/LEAs as well as political parties, to ensure that conduct of general elections in a fair, free and peaceful manner in the province is possible,” said Ali in a letter he sent to Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja after a deadly suicide bombing in Peshawar that claimed over 100 lives.
The ECP had asked the KP governor to fix the date for the elections and suggested that polls can be held between April 15-17.
In response, Governor Ghulam Ali has advised the commission to take the law and order situation into account before announcing a date for the elections.
The governor is of the view that the law and order situation is worsening in KP and hinted at delaying the polls.
During an interaction with journalists, the governor said: “400 tribal elders have requested him that elections should be held after three to four months.”
He added: “If a province demands to conduct census first or intelligence agencies advise to postpone elections then how will the elections be held?”
Referring to the terror attacks on police and rising terrorism in the province, the governor asked if elections could be held in Waziristan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat.
He added that the law and order issue should be addressed ahead of the provincial polls.
Interestingly, the same day the governor sent the letter, KP Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan attempted to rubbish the perception created after the ghastly Peshawar suicide attack that polls in the terror-hit province may be delayed due to the law and order situation.
During a press briefing in Peshawar on Tuesday, CM Khan was asked whether elections could be postponed due to terrorism.
“It has nothing to do with polls. Terror incidents were taking place much before the announcement of elections,” the chief minister said.
The PTI, after the dissolution of the assembly in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has been asking the ECP and the governor to issue a date for the elections.
The ECP is bound to hold elections in the province within 90 days after the dissolution of the assembly.