Voting rights: ‘ECP ready to facilitate IDPs in polls’

Chief coordinator of Jalozai Camp expresses concern over presence of polling stations.

Our Correspondent May 02, 2013
A nearby engineering university building under construction was suggested as a feasible alternative for setting up polling stations within Jalozai. DESIGN: EMA ANIS


The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chapter on Thursday informed the Peshawar High Court (PHC) it was prepared to hold general polls in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

ECP Additional Director General (Legal) Abdul Rehman informed a division bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Ikramullah Khan that a list of voters in IDP camps would be provided by Friday (today).

However, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, the chief coordinator of Jalozai Camp, claimed although the ECP had planned to set up polling stations inside the camp, the latter’s rules did not allow for such action. He added the prevailing law and order situation was also not favourable.

Faizi suggested a nearby engineering university building under construction as a feasible alternative and requested the court to direct the ECP to establish polling stations at the location in order to avoid any untoward situation in the camp.

Faizi also informed the court the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) had suspended Jalozai Camp’s electricity supply as the Fata Disaster Management Authority had failed to pay the dues. He claimed electricity had been suspended in the camp for the last 20 days.

Faizi explained the federal government had released an amount of Rs100 million which would enable the payment to be made, but maintained the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) was holding the amount.

The bench observed it was beyond the AGPR’s jurisdiction to withhold the amount and directed it to release the funds within three days.

The court also ordered the continued provision of all facilities provided to IDPs at the camp.

In a separate petition, the PHC also ordered that IDPs from South Waziristan living in displaced persons’ camps in North Waziristan be facilitated so that they may cast their votes on Election Day.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2013.


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