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Pakistan

Arrangements finalised for Punjab by-polls: Extra security personnel deployed to 676 ‘highly sensitive’ polling stations

  • Govt deploys military personnel in four constituencies of Lahore and one constituency of Multan at the request of the ECP
Published July 17, 2022
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ISLAMABAD: All arrangements, including those pertaining to security, that need to be made for by-elections set to be held on Sunday (today) in 20 constituencies of the Punjab Assembly have been finalised.

The government has decided to deploy military personnel in four constituencies of Lahore and one constituency of Multan at the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The ECP has declared 676 polling stations as “highly sensitive” where additional police and Rangers personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.

The commission has said that at least 3,131 polling stations are being set up in the 20 constituencies and 676 of these are “highly sensitive” and 1,194 “sensitive”.

The polling will begin at 8 am and continue till 5 pm without break.

At least 4.58 million voters, 2.19m of them women, will use their right to franchise. The polling staff, comprising some 23,750 men and women, will facilitate the voters at the polling stations, while 50,000 policemen will provide security to them.

The sensitive polling stations will be monitored through CCTV cameras and special control rooms have been set up at the provincial level to oversee the electoral exercise.

A ministry statement said that a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah reviewed the security measures taken for the by-elections. The meeting was attended by officials of the ministry as well as those of security agencies.

The functionaries attending the meeting reviewed the law and order situation and also reviewed the letter of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja about the deployment of security forces in “sensitive constituencies”.

The meeting expressed satisfaction over the security measures taken in the constituencies. The ministry has imposed a ban on the display and possession of arms in Punjab.

The control rooms set up for the purpose will continue working till the compilation of results. The returning officers, respective deputy commissioners, and representatives of police, Rangers and Pakistan Army will be present in the control rooms to deal with any untoward situation.

Meanwhile, in a tweet the interior minister asked all the parties to exercise restraint and avoid disrupting the by-elections in Punjab. “The law will take its due course if anyone tries to sabotage the writ of the state by indulging in unlawful activities,” he wrote.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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