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Sunday November 27, 2022

Punjab, Sindh, KP: ECP seeks army’s help in by-polls, LG elections

Sources said the CEC wrote a letter to the Army Chief for the provision of security cover for the Sindh local government polls first and second phases on June 25 and July 24 respectively

June 21, 2022
The ECP name board at its main office in Islamabad. Photo: The news/Flie
The ECP name board at its main office in Islamabad. Photo: The news/Flie

ISLAMABAD: In a major development, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday wrote to Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for complete assistance in the form of security in the conduct of by-elections and local government polls in Punjab and Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sources in the Election Commission told The News here Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja wrote a letter to the Army Chief for provision of security cover for the Sindh local government polls first and second phases on June 25 and July 24 respectively.

Military security has also been sought for the key by-elections in 20 constituencies of Punjab Assembly, to be conducted on July 17, for bye-election in PK-7, Swat-VI on June 26 and bye-election in 245, Karachi East-IV on July 27. This very seat had fallen vacant, following the death of PTI MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain.

The CEC, according to sources, wrote that the ECP was proud of the assistance of the Pakistan Army for provision of a secure and safe environment during the conduct of general election, by-elections and local government elections whenever such assistance was requested by the Election Commission.

He reportedly said that the recently held local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (phase I, II) and Balochistan are a testimony to the fact that in sensitive areas the army formations assisted in the maintenance of law and order in an exemplary manner.

The Election Commission, he noted, expects the same level of support for the conduct of these electoral processes as per the requirement of the situation and it is essential to outline that some situations beyond the control of civil law-enforcement agencies will require a more proactive and enhanced role of the army, at times requiring saving life and limb of the citizens.

The CEC explained that under Article-220, it shall be the duty of all executive authorities to assist the Election Commission and the CEC in the discharge of their duties. The CEC also wrote a letter to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah in relation to the upcoming poll processes, to be conducted in his province and said that as the ECP is taking all necessary steps to organise an election or by-election, it also expects the same commitment from the executive authorities for maintaining of law and order in the area of constituency during the conduct of elections, especially in sensitive areas with a history of political conflict or violence. 

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