PESHAWAR: The Election Commissions of Pakistan (ECP) has said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police was a “mere spectator” to violence during the Local Government (LG) elections on 18 December, last year. The ECP has decided to deploy Pakistan army to ensure peaceful polls in the remaining districts on 27 March.
Several incidents of mismanagement and disruption of polling process was reported during the first phase of election. The election body has accused the KP police of failure to ensure full-fledged security and peaceful elections.
The election commission on Wednesday notified the federal Ministry of interior to deploy the Pakistan army soldiers during the second round of election in the remaining 18 district of KP. The ECP said, “The plan outlined by the commission regarding law and order could not be implemented by the KP police. The required number Frontier Corps personnel were not deployed at the polling stations.”
In the first phase, elections were held in Buner, Bajaur, Swabi, Nowshera, Kohat, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Tank, Haripur, Khyber, Mohmand, Charsadda, Hangu and Lakki Marwat districts.
During the hearing at the election commission, videos of disruption were presented which were recorded at two polling stations in Peshawar. The video showed how the people were tearing ballot papers and breaking ballot boxes. Similarly, people present at the polling stations were seen abusing the polling staff. The election body said that two or three policemen were deployed at polling stations who remained “silent spectators” and were unable to keep the situation under control.
The election body also accused the provincial government for “failure” to maintain law and order situation on the Election Day. The ECP said that the government should have deployed more personnel on the polling stations
Before the election, Election Commission had declared 2507 polling stations “most sensitive” and 4,168 “sensitive” and urged the provincial government for ensuring full-fledged security for 19 December polls. The KP police had deployed five police personal on the most sensitive polling station and had said that the paramilitary troops will be ready for any emergency situation.