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ISLAMABAD: In the wake of resurgence of terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the general elections in the two provinces would not be delayed — to be held as per schedule — on February 8 — with the rest of the country. The decision was taken in a meeting, Thursday, attended by the top officials of the two provinces, security agencies, caretaker federal government and ECP — under the leadership of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

Prior to the meeting, the speculations were rife suggesting a possible delay in general polls in the two provinces on account of terrorism resurgence.

The meeting was of the view that the security situation was, so far, “manageable” – which could be controlled by the security and law enforcement agencies, Business Recorder has learnt.

But, if the terrorist attacks persisted, then the security situation in the two provinces would be reviewed again, it is further learnt.

An ECP statement issued after the meeting quoted the CEC as having directed the law enforcement agencies to be “vigilant regarding the efforts of certain elements to take law into their hands on the polling day, especially during the vote counting.”

The security officials assured the Commission that “no political or apolitical force would be allowed to sabotage the general elections and the perpetrators would be dealt with an iron fist,” the statement said.

Acting Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz also said that the general elections would not be delayed — to be held across the country on February 8. “There should be no confusion whatsoever in this regard,” he told the media after the meeting. The ECP and caretaker governments would ensure the conduct of general polls with the provision of foolproof security for the general polls, he said.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the ECP, once again, warned that the general polls could be postponed in the constituencies where ballot papers were being printed afresh. Following an “emergency” meeting over the issue of ballot papers’ printing, the ECP announced that the reprinting of ballot papers in certain constituencies would depend on the availability of the required paper, and the related capacity of the printing presses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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