CEC orders FC deployment to protect hari woman candidate
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of threats to the life of a daring peasant woman who is contesting the by-election for a provincial assembly seat in Balochistan, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Mirza has ordered deployment of Frontier Corps in the constituency, PB-25 Jaffarabad-1, on the polling day (Wednesday).
The orders were issued on a complaint received from the Awami Party Pakistan which is the first party ever to field a hari woman as a candidate in Balochistan, in an area where five women were buried alive last year.
According to sources, besides ordering deployment of Frontier Corps personnel, the CEC also asked the provincial government to provide security to Mai Jori Jamali.
A two-member delegation of the Awami Party Pakistan led by its president Dr Hasan Nasir submitted the complaint to the commission’s secretary Ishtiak Ahmed alleging that their candidate was being pressurised to withdraw in favour of the Pakistan People’s Party candidate or be ready to face dire consequences.
They pointed out that all other candidates had withdrawn in favour of the PPP nominee.
They said Mai Jori was facing threats to her life from powerful sardars and feudal lords. They said the sanctity of ballot was at stake and the feudal lords were bent on stealing the election and foiling the electoral process.
They said local haris were being pressurised by some elements to bring out stamped ballot-papers and hand them over outside the polling station. They said these elements were being supported by the local administration.
The chief election commissioner sought a report from the provincial election commission and said that the sanctity and secrecy of the ballot must be monitored.
The chief election commissioner also took notice of a complaint that special packages were being announced by ministers of the ruling party in violation of election rules.