KP seeks more security personnel ahead of general elections

CM Arshad Hussain Shah says provincial govt will go all-out to hold polls in peaceful, fair and transparent manner

By
Bureau report
Personnel of Frontier Constabulary stand alert outside Supreme Court in Islamabad on April 3, 2023. — Online
Personnel of Frontier Constabulary stand alert outside Supreme Court in Islamabad on April 3, 2023. — Online 

  • 11 personnel to be deployed at most sensitive polling stations.
  • 4 to be deployed at each of normal polling stations.
  • Total number of registered voters in KP is 21,692,381.


PESHAWAR: Keeping in view the current security situation, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has sought more personnel from the federal government for the upcoming general elections slated for February 8, The News reported Wednesday. 

In this regard, an important meeting to take stock of the preparations of the provincial government for holding polls was held in Peshawar under KP's Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Arshad Hussain Shah's chairmanship.

Besides KP ministers Dr Aamir Abdullah and Barrister Mian Feroz Jamal Shah Kakakhel, Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhary, Inspector General Police Akhtar Hayat Khan Gandapur, Additional Chief Secretary Home Muhammad Abid Majeed and other relevant officials attended the meeting. 

The divisional commissioners and regional police officers also attended the meeting via video link.

Security arrangements

The meeting was informed that 11 security personnel would be deployed at every sensitive polling stations in the southern belt and merged districts of the province, whereas seven security personnel would be deployed at every sensitive polling stations in the rest of the districts.

Similarly, seven security personnel would be deployed at each of the sensitive polling stations and four security personnel at each of the normal polling stations in the merged and southern districts.

Whereas, in the rest of the districts, five security personnel at each sensitive and four at each normal polling station would be deployed. It was further informed that the provincial government would require a total of 115,430 security personnel for holding general elections, whereas only 89,959 police personnel are currently available and thus, the government faced a shortfall of 25,471 security personnel.

However, it was told that the Ministry of Interior has been approached for the provision of an additional four wings of Frontier Corps and 165 platoons of Frontier Constabulary as well. It was informed that on the special directives of the caretaker chief minister, 26,213 additional security personnel have been arranged so far from the different provincial departments.

To monitor the law and order during the elections, the Command and Control Centre has been established at the home department, whereas, a district-wise contingency plan has been prepared by the police department.

Over 15,000 polling stations to be established in KP

On the other hand, the participants of the meeting were also informed that for the first time, general elections for national and provincial assemblies are going to be held simultaneously in the settled and merged districts of the province.

The elections would be held for 45 general seats of the National Assembly and 115 general seats of the KP Assembly in the province. 

For that, a total of 15,737 polling stations would be established across the province out of which 4,812 polling stations have been declared the most sensitive, 6,581 sensitive and 4,344 polling stations normal.

It was added that 1,919 polling stations would be established in the snow-bound areas of the province. The total number of registered voters in the province is 21,692,381.

Govt to go 'all-out' to hold polls peacefully

Similarly, rescue emergency plans and health emergency plans have also been prepared for the upcoming general elections. CM Shah said that the provincial government will go all-out to hold general elections in a peaceful, fair and transparent manner.

He directed all the divisional commissioners, RPOs, deputy commissioners and DPOs to ensure the implementation of the plans and decisions of the provincial government in letter and spirit for this purpose.

For the last couple of years, the law and order situation has worsened in several parts of KP, especially southern districts, with an increase in attacks on police, security forces and civilians.

Some political figures and gatherings were attacked as well by the terrorists in a few parts of the province.

Senior police officials said the situation had improved in other parts of the province while efforts were being made to improve law and order in the southern districts.