ABBOTTABAD: Lacking coordination, the administration and police have issued separate orders banning public meetings and rallies in the district which have put candidates in a state of confusion about the authority to get permission for public meetings. The deputy commissioner imposed a ban under Section-144 of Criminal Procedure Code on July 12, through a letter issued on July 11.
The DPO imposed a ban under the Police Act, Section-82(1), 86 which restricts the display of all kinds of arms and ammunition and holding of public rallies and meetings with hatred speeches. The candidates are required to obtain the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for meetings and rallies, or else violators will be booked under the law. It can lead to controversies because two parallel parties can get NOC at the same time, which may create law and order situation for the administration.
Presently, the Government College Abbottabad ground is the only venue being used for public meetings. All the political parties are planning to hold public meetings there. After the Peshawar suicide bombing, the district administration should have taken more care and brought the affairs under one umbrella managed by one authority, ie either by the deputy commissioner or district police officer.
In Abbottabad, over 50 polling stations have been declared sensitive. Two National Assembly and four provincialontested by at least 72 candidates, including two main rival parties Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the district.
One of the candidates has asked the divisional administration to bring all affairs under one window to avoid any awkward situation for the administration as well as for the candidates because only 13 days have been left to the election.