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Not only is the election scene a lacklustre affair owing to a variety of reasons, it is fraught with dangers of growing militancy. It is a bitter truth, which may not be accepted or acknowledged by many. Certain media reports, however, clearly indicate that growing incidents of violence in both KPK and Balochistan have dampened the traditional spirit among people that is normally associated with every general election that has taken place in the history of this country.

In this regard it is important to note that at least 15 political figures in KP have faced death threats from militants over the past two months. In this province, at least two candidates have been shot dead since the start of January. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has, however, decided that the polls in two violence-infested provinces will be held as per schedule regardless.

The ECP is expected to have reached this decision after a thorough debate. Meanwhile, it is heartening to note that Pakistan army has already announced that it would perform its duties in accordance with constitutional stipulations under the guidelines of ECP.

Now the situation brings under increased focus the role of caretaker setups at the Centre and in the four provinces. The interim governments are, therefore, required to pull their socks up immediately in view of the enormity of security and some other challenges facing the country.

They take every possible step aimed at holding fair, free and transparent general election across the country. It is quite unfortunate that all the caretaker governments, particularly those in KPK and Balochistan, have failed to take the required steps through which a greater sense of security and peace could have been obtained in the country.

Nothing could have been more important for them than a goal of creating peaceful conditions in the country. Be that as it may, since the armed forces have lent a helping hand to the provincial law enforcement agencies and the federal paramilitary forces there has be discernable improvement in the overall law and order situation in the country so as to encourage people to come out in large numbers to cast their votes.

Abdul Qadir Mandokhel (Quetta)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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