A high-level meeting was held at the Commissioner House on Wednesday to finalise security arrangements in Peshawar Division, Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar, and Khyber and Mohmand agencies.
It was decided in the meeting that to avert any scuffles between political workers only four voters will be allowed to enter the polling station at any given time. The remaining voters will wait for their turn in a queue outside.
According to a handout issued by the Commissioner House, pictures of voters will also be taken on Election Day to avoid fraud and imposters from casting someone else’s vote. Around 8,000 security officials will be deployed at polling stations and no load-shedding will be conducted for 72 hours from May 10 till 12.
The meeting presided over by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) member Justice (retired) Shehzad Akbar Khan decided no public and private vehicles will be allowed to park within 400 metres of the polling stations.
Provincial Chief Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch, Commissioner of Peshawar (CP) Sahibzada Muhammad Anis, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Liaquat Ali, Deputy Commissoner (DC) of Peshawar Javed Marwat, Khyber and Mohmand agencies’ political agents among other officials attended the meeting.
Seven security officials will be assigned to polling stations declared ‘most sensitive,’ while those polling stations considered ‘sensitive’ will be assigned six security personnel. For the rest, four security officials will be assigned.
The army will be put on standby and can be called in on short notice, said CP Anis while briefing participants of the meeting. A special control room has also been established in DC offices in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera and will operate round the clock on Election Day to coordinate with the field staff.
Transportation will be provided to returning officers and other polling staffers, who will be dropped off at their homes once the vote counting process is complete.
To enable displaced tribesmen living at the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp at Jalozai to vote, eight polling stations will be set up inside the camp. However, tribesmen will not be allowed to exit the camp on Election Day. According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), there are 12,083 families currently residing at the Jalozai camp.
Shehzad Akbar also directed deputy commissioners and political agents to call a meeting with all contesting candidates within 48 hours and take them into confidence regarding security plans for May 11. It must be ensured the ECP’s prescribed code of conduct is followed, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2013.