=> KARACHI: The number of sensitive polling stations
KARACHI: The number of sensitive polling stations in Sindh has gone up 60 percent to 5,000 after Bhutto’s assassination, the Sindh government informed the Election Commission of Pakistan Saturday.
“Previously (before Dec 27) the number was 3,000 out of a total of 13,405,” said commission secretary Kanwar Dilshad to the media after his meeting with the Sindh chief secretary.
A fear of violence is being expressed by both the government and political parties. The caretaker government as well as the PML-Q leadership fear that law and order could worsen on polling day. The PPP believes, however, that these conditions are being created to scare voters. Two districts, Dadu and Tharpakar, are flashpoints; Dadu is an administrative stronghold of former federal minister for water and power, Liaquat Ali Jatoi, as is Tharparkar for former chief minister Arbab Rahim. Last Friday’s clash between Jatoi and PPP supporters in Dadu served as an eye opener for the authorities.
The ECP has laid the responsibility of maintaining law and order at the door of the provincial government that is free to call upon the army for assistance. And while the forces have been put on stand-by the government has yet to decide on deploying them outside polling stations. According to the ECP secretary, no political party has “formally” approached the election commission, asking for the army.
When asked about a large number of transfers and postings, Dilshad replied that the government withdrew the orders after the commission took notice. He admitted, however, that the transfer of the district police officer of Umerkot (the district of Arbab Rahim) has yet to be withdrawn. The government informed him that the officer previously posted there was engaged in training. Dilshad did take note of fresh appointments made by the provincial caretaker government in the local government department, and ordered it to send him an explanation.
Source: Daily Times