Over 10,000 candidates from across the political landscape of Pakistan will be provided security for the upcoming general elections, sources confirmed to Express News.
Political bigwigs including, Imran Khan, Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman are included in the list.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued letters to all provincial chief secretaries and instructed them to ensure security for the conduct of free and fair elections. The letter also instructed instalment of CCTV cameras at all sensitive polling stations, sources confirmed.
The ECP also asked for security to be provided to all returning officers across the country. The letter prompted provision of security to all candidates and leaders of political parties.
In April, over 5,000 policemen were called back to barracks in Punjab two days after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar directed police chiefs of all provinces to withdraw security protocol provided to “influential individuals” not entitled to official security.
At least 2,000 people, including politicians, judges, lawyers and other government officials, were enjoying official security provided by the provincial government. Over 1,400 personnel deployed on the security of 313 politicians, 1,100 for 527 police officials, and 650 policemen on duty for protecting 480 officials of the subordinate judiciary were called back to barracks.
A report of Punjab government further revealed that 41 personnel for 39 lawyers, 300 for 275 religious leaders and 1,050 personnel in the name of a protocol of 250 ‘influential citizens’ were also called back by the authorities.
Justice Nisar had issued this directive to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Inspector General Police (IG) Salahuddin Mehsud as well as IGs of all other provinces through a notice during the hearing of a case pertaining to the security provided to individuals in K-P