CM Punjab; Indeed a caretaker, discusses polling day security

News Analysis |

Following the Peshawar and Balochistan attacks, precautionary measures to be taken have posed as a dire need for Pakistan. The general elections of 2018 have stirred great action as people take out the streets in support of their favorite parties.

This included Haroon Bilour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the attack in Mastung, Balochistan killing approximately 150 people.

On Friday,21st July 2018, caretaker governor of Punjab, Chief Minister Dr. Hassan Askari directed stakeholder agencies to initiate immediate action. Dr. Hassan had flown from Lahore for 2 hours to assure that every possible step would be taken to address the genuine complaints of the political parties and its candidates.

CM-Punjab and other ministers attended a meeting held in the Commissioner’s Office, Rawalpindi, to review the arrangements made for the polls.

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Every possible step should be taken to further improve the law and order situation and candidates should be taken into confidence for the implementation of the code of conduct,” said CM-Punjab.

Further discussions included the Division Commissioner and Regional Police Officer, giving him briefings about the arrangements made so far. These arrangements included heat stroke centers being set up in polling stations; water, electricity, toilet and other facilities to be provided.

This meeting resulted in the deployment of 12,841 Police officials at more than 5,000 Polling stations in Rawalpindi, including 6,132 officials to perform security duties. 2,754 Police officials would be deputed to Attock, 2,141 in Chakwal and 1,841 in Jhelum division.

Furthermore, the use of CCTV cameras would be in order to ensure a close monitor of the polling stations at the hands of District Monitoring Officers. Taking precautionary measures, the decision was undertaken regarding the availability of ambulances. In a 6 kilometer radius of polling stations, one ambulance would be provided.

In recent months, we have witnessed several bombing attacks leading to witnessing the demise of many innocent martyrs.

Expressing his concerns, Provincial Home Minister, Shaukat Javed requested special attention to be given to the security of public places and foreigners. In addition, a strategy was also devised for the safety of international observers, journalists, media, candidates and predominantly chief politicians.

On the day of elections; how should things go down

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The presence of heat stroke centers was marked, to be established at polling stations in divisions of Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum, and Chakwal. Dr. Askari demanded implementations of the decisions made in the last meeting. Marking the importance of, polling staff, material, water, and electricity; all getting to the stations on time.

Serving his requests, hospitals had to be briefed for preparation in case of emergency.  The meeting was also informed to make arrangements for safely transporting the polling staff.

He said that aerial firing, display of firearms will not be tolerated on polling day or prior to that during election campaigns and that undiscriminating actions will be carried out, with a zero tolerance policy.

Finance Minister, Zia Haider Rizvi stated that timely provision of funds will be ensured for election-related arrangements. Followed by Provincial Minister, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas’ concern for the appointment of a focal person to deal with emergencies on the election day.

Other interests for election day included foreign observers to monitor the election campaign and special measures to be taken in order to accommodate disabled persons, including the provision of ramps.

The general elections of 2018 have stirred great action as people take out the streets in support of their favorite parties.

Dr. Hassan also mentioned ways to abate administrative issues via exhibiting prime professionalism. Adding that 25th July would be a test to assess the performance carried out on part of the administration and the police officials.

All political parties will be required to follow the code of conduct, Dr. Askari said.

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What to expect from security officials; here forth

With hardly four days to go, the current election campaigns have been marred by great violence in Pakistan. In recent months, we have witnessed several bombing attacks leading to witnessing the demise of many innocent martyrs. This included Haroon Bilour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the attack in Mastung, Balochistan killing approximately 150 people. After fining 7 people and issuing notices to 107 for the violation of the code of conduct in the Rawalpindi division, examples are being set.

What’s expected from concerned agencies, is that they ensure the law and order situation and take all possible precautionary measures to implement fair, transparent, safe and peaceful general elections this year.

With several suggestions, the issues were addressed and readdressed.

Administrative issues can be overcome by exhibiting the best professional capabilities and polling day will be a performance test for the administration and the police in the real sense, said CM-Punjab.

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