ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders have expressed serious concerns over deployment of army at polling stations during by-polls in NA-205 Ghotki, saying such a move will raise questions over transparency of the elections.
Addressing a press conference at the PPP Media Office here on Friday, PPP leaders Nayyar Bukhari and Farhatullah Babar demanded withdrawal of the orders to deploy army at polling stations.
Bukhari urged to clear the reservations of his party for the elections to be transparent, while Babar inquired whether Ghotki was more sensitive than tribal areas.
Bukhari said, “Managing elections is basically the job of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Candidates of the PPP and the ruling party [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] are fighting the by-election in Ghotki.”
He said to ensure a free and fair election required the army to be stationed outside the polling stations during the election. “Deployment of army is not fair in the presence of the presiding officer,” he added.
Babar said, “The army is being deployed at all polling stations in Ghotki, while in tribal areas they are only posted at sensitive polling stations. Is this area more sensitive than the areas affected by terrorism?”
To a question, he said never ever had a political party demanded army presence in polling stations.
He said, “All polling stations in Ghotki have been declared sensitive. Army was deployed at the polling stations in tribal areas during election. We protested that the army should be deployed only at sensitive polling stations.”
He said during the 2018 elections when the army men were inside, the polling agents were sent outside. “Forms 45 and 90 could not be signed,” he added.
He demanded of the ECP not to post the army inside polling stations.
“Please do not do things that can raise questions over the institutions,” he added.
To a question, Bukhari said, “The rules and Constitution are very clear about the no-confidence move.”