Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Friday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the general elections in the province on October 8, the date the electoral watchdog earlier announced for elections in Punjab, Aaj News reported.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, Governor Ghulam Ali said it would be in the "best public interest as well as in the interest of the state if polls were held in October instead of a previous date that he had suggested — May 28."
KP governor had earlier announced May 28 as the province's election date. However, he soon backtracked from the decision, urging elections to be delayed due to fear of terrorism incidents, lack of security officials for the exercise and issues related to the ongoing census.
Days after the development, the ECP also postponed elections in Punjab, scheduled for April 30, to October 8, saying security and financial bodies refused to assist the commission during the upcoming polls.
While the government welcomed the ECP's decision, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vehemently rejected it, terming it a "blatant violation of the Supreme Court's order. The PTI also announced challenging it in the apex court.
In his letter today, the governor noted that a fresh wave of terrorist activities has been taking place in the northwestern province daily.
He said major terrorist activities include cross-border fire in North Waziristan, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast on an army vehicle in Kohat, heavy exchange of fire with terrorists in South Waziristan on March 15, unknown terrorists fire on Khyber's Bara Police Station on March 19.
Citing further incidents, he said a terrorist attack took on a police station in DI Khan, followed by a search operation by the army, resulting in the martyrdom of three army soldiers on the night between March 21 and 22.
Also, he said, on March 21, a convoy was ambushed in South Waziristan, resulting in the martyrdom of Brigadier Mustafa Kamal Barki from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and injuries to seven other personnel.
Earlier today, President Dr Arif Alvi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, urging him to assist the ECP in holding elections in both provinces.
The president said that the ECP, by postponing elections of provincial assemblies, failed to implement his announcement of holding Punjab elections on April 30 and “blatantly violated Supreme Court’s order dated March 1.”