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ISLAMABAD: Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras would be installed only at those polling stations being marked as 'highly sensitive' instead of all the 1,644 polling stations comprising of 5,080 polling booths, in the local government elections to be held in 42 cantonment boards across the country on September 12.

This decision was taken on Tuesday in a meeting of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) presided over by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. Some 1,559 candidates are contesting the LG polls for CBs.

The meeting decided that police as well as rangers would be deployed at the polling stations for security purposes. However, CCTV cameras would not be installed at all the polling stations but only at those polling stations that would be categorised as highly sensitive from security point of view, the meeting decided.

The polling would continue from 8 am till 5 pm. The meeting denied the media reports as false that ECP made any amendments in the polling timing. On July 9 this year, ECP issued the schedule for LG elections in 219 wards of 42 CBs across the country. Of these CBs where the LG polls are scheduled, 20 are located in Punjab that have 119 wards, 11 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa having 37 wards, eight in Sindh having 54 wards and three in Balochistan having nine wards.

The 42 CBs are: Rawalpindi, Taxila, Wah, Attock, Kamra, Sanjwal, Mangla, Murree Hills, Jhelum, Kharian, Lahore, Walton, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Shorkot, Sargodha, Okara, Multan, Bhawalpur, Quetta, Zhob, Loralai, Peshawar, Nowshera, Risalpur, Cherat, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Murree Gallis (separate from Murree Hills), Havelian, Abbottabad, Kalabagh, Hyderabad, Pannu Aqil, Faisal, Malir, Korangi, Manora, Clifton and Karachi.

On January 30, 2020, the ECP announced to start delimitation of wards in these 42 CBs and listed March 27 last year as the date to issue the final notification regarding completion of the delimitation exercise. However, on account of alarming spread of corona virus across the country and issues concerning certain CBs, the LG polls in CBs that were scheduled last year, kept facing delay on one pretext or another till the ECP finally announced the polls schedule on July 9.

On April 14 this year, the ECP published the list of seven CBs where delimitation of wards for LG polls was done afresh following the reclassification of these CBs by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). These seven CBs were: Malir, Korangi Creek, Abbottabad, Kamra, Taxila, Shorkot and Bahawalpur.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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