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DROs, ROs should not come under any pressure during polls, says Baqar

By Aftab Ahmed
February 06, 2024

HYDERABAD: Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar has said the general elections on February 8 should be conducted in a free and fair manner, and the district returning officers (DROs) and (ROs) should not come under any pressure.

Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd) Maqbool Bakar addressing media persons in Hyderabad on February 05, 2024. — APP
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (Retd) Maqbool Bakar addressing media persons in Hyderabad on February 05, 2024. — APP

Talking to the media in Hyderabad on Monday, he said the DROs and ROs should conduct the elections as per the rules and procedures.

Justice (retd) Baqar told journalists that earlier in the day, he visited Larkana, Sukkur and Hyderabad divisions to review the arrangements for the elections. He added that he found the arrangements for the polls satisfactory.

He explained that in order to maintain the law and order on the polling day, the Pakistan Army, Rangers, police and Rapid Response Force would be deployed. Cameras had been installed at the sensitive polling stations and army personnel would perform duties outside such polling stations, he added.

To a question about facilities at the polling stations, he said all kinds of facilities had been provided at all the polling stations.

In reply to another question about the political tensions, the interim CM said there was always little tension between political parties but he was hopeful that the elections would be held peacefully and the voters would use their right to vote without any fear.

Caretaker Information Minister Syed Ahmed Shah was also present at the press conference. He said that it was revealed in the Hyderabad division meeting that for the first time the CM had released so much funds for the election.

He added that the Hyderabad director information would be the focal person for the media during the elections.

Giving a briefing in the meeting, Hyderabad Commissioner Syed Khalid Hyder Shah said 195 male candidates were contesting on 13 National Assembly seats and 480 male candidates on 28 provincial seats of the Hyderabad division.

He said 48,971 polling staff had been appointed in the division, and election materials had been provided to the districts.

Rs871 million was spent on the repair of facilities at polling stations, he said.

The commissioner informed the meeting that health emergency had been imposed in the division, and fines had been imposed after nine complaints of violation of the code of conduct.

Hyderabad DIG Tariq Dharejo said there were 981 highly sensitive polling stations in the division, 1,416 were sensitive, and the rest were normal. He explained that the police considered Matiari, Dadu and Badin districts sensitive in terms of law and order.

Sindh Chief Secretary Dr Fakhar Alam said the media persons would have to go outside after doing coverage inside the polling stations.

Sindh Inspector General of Police Riffat Mukhtar, principal secretary to the CM, regional election commissioner Hyderabad, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company chief, Water and Sanitation Agency managing director, chief engineer roads, and deputy commissioners and SSPs of Dadu, Jamshoro, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar and Matiari also attended the meeting.