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July 15, 2018

ECP asks provincial govts to review security situation

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Saturday directed all the provincial governments to review the prevailing security situation in close coordination with the relevant institutions to chalk out strategies accordingly.

The ECP called for closer collaboration for the smooth and peaceful conduct of general elections.

Political parties were asked to have links with one another and the administration at local level, forging close coordination and also improve exchange of information.

The directions were issued after a rare briefing given to the ECP, consisting of the four on Commission members as well as the Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Sardar Muhammad Raza here at the ECP Secretariat.

The meeting, chaired by the CEC, discussed in detail the prevailing security relatedmatters and evolving electioneering across Pakistan. He had asked for a briefing by the national coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), following a series of terrorist attacks on poll-related events.

Same day, he again wrote to Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari on ensuring provision of peaceful environment for electioneering. He also called for not letting any impediment in such activities, where the code of conduct was being followed.

The ECP directed the provincial governments to evolve security-related strategies after taking a holistic view of current security situation in collaboration with the relevant institutions. It said the political parties and the masses should also extend cooperation for peaceful conduct of the general election.

On the occasion, the ECP reaffirmed the resolve that the election process would go ahead at all costs.

Earlier, Nacta Coordinator Dr Muhammad Salman Khan briefed the ECP about security threats and overall security situation in the country.

The ECP directed Nacta to keep the Commission regularly updated about the security situation. The meeting strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Mastung and Bannu and sympathised with the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, the ECP directed the Ministry of Water and Power not to carry out loadshedding on July 25 and 26. It said the polling for general election will be held from 8am to 6pm on July 25, immediately followed by counting of votes in the presence of candidates or their authorised polling agents.

The letter, written to the secretary of the ministry, said that for accomplishment of the task, satisfactory and uninterrupted power supply is essential till the completion of the counting process on the polling day.