K-P designates 100 spaces for rallies

Provincial cabinet asks political parties to strictly adhere to election SOPs

Our Correspondent December 23, 2023
Pakistan Peoples Party held rallies in several districts against the government’s decision to pardon General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: ADEEL AHMED/EXPRESS


The caretaker provincial cabinet of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has underscored its commitment to providing a level playing field for all political parties during the upcoming general elections.

The cabinet, led by Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Arshan Hussain Shah, convened to finalize preparations for the elections, adhering to the directives of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and stressing the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Having conducted eight detailed sessions, the chief minister and chief secretary spearheaded efforts to work out arrangements for the elections. Notably, the provincial government has designated gathering spaces in each tehsil, with the allowance of 100 government spaces for hosting substantial political events.

The SOPs, aligned with ECP directives, emphasize conducting large political gatherings in specified areas designated by the provincial government during daylight hours to ensure optimal security and participant safety.

The chief minister, in addressing the cabinet, highlighted the mobilization of all available resources to guarantee transparency and the efficient utilization of taxpayer funds for the elections. The cabinet received comprehensive briefings covering various facets of election preparation, encompassing human resource allocation, facility mapping, placement of IT staff and equipment, accessibility measures for persons with disabilities, rationalization of sensitive polling stations, security plans, CCTV camera needs, transport arrangements, and SOPs for political gatherings.

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The impending general elections in 2024 in K-P will span 55 National Assembly constituencies and 145 Provincial Assembly seats, served by 15,737 polling stations. These include 4,843 designated for male voters and 4,285 for female voters.

The cabinet learned that 4,812 polling stations have been identified as the most sensitive, with an additional 6,581 categorized as sensitive. Additionally, 1,919 polling stations are situated in snowbound areas. Notably, ECP statistics delineate a voter distribution of 54.54% male and 45.46% female.

Addressing security arrangements, the cabinet was informed that additional personnel from various departments will be mobilized to address potential manpower shortages.

An emergency plan, soon to be notified by the health department, and the installation of 11,668 CCTV cameras inside and outside polling stations were highlighted. The cabinet, recognizing the critical importance of health and security in ensuring the success of the electoral process, placed emphasis on comprehensive measures.

In a landmark decision, the cabinet approved the establishment of Khyber Medical College University and Ayub Medical College University as part of the Khushal Pakhtunkhwa program.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2023.


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