Former federal minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour on Thursday called on the election commission to provide security to ANP leaders receiving death threats in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Addressing reporters at the press club, he said the K-P’s caretaker government has provided very basic security to leaders of the Awami National Party (ANP), and said these ordinary arrangements are not enough to avoid potential attacks.
According to Bilour, it is unfair that former military dictator Pervez Musharraf was provided with adequate security by the caretaker government upon his arrival in Pakistan, whereas democratic leaders are left at the mercy of God. Responding to a question about the ban on political campaigns ahead of the general elections, he said ANP leaders were only holding corner meetings with their workers. He demanded that ECP lift the ban.
Furthermore, Bilour accused the electronic media of receiving millions of rupees from political parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Muttahida Quami Movement, to broadcast their advertisements and leader interviews. Such activities influence the electoral process and are tantamount to pre-poll rigging, he said.
Additionally, he said, mosques should not be used for political purposes, and urged the ECP to disqualify the parties that are holding public meetings inside these houses of worship.
In his concluding remarks, he urged the caretaker government to utilise all resources to conduct peaceful, free and fair elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2013.