Security tightened for polls in Bajaur
KHAAR: The authorities have deployed paramilitary forces at polling stations as well as at public places in the Bajaur Agency ahead of Wednesday’s by-polls in the NA-44 constituency amid threats issued by a militant group to disrupt polling. Pamphlets purportedly distributed by the Jafar-i-Tayar Front on Tuesday warned voters not to visit polling stations. Polling staff also received threats.
“Tribesmen of Bajaur are warned to stay away from the electoral process. And those who would not heed the warning and go to the polling stations would risk their lives,” said the Pushto language pamphlets distributed in different parts of the tribal region.
Transporters have also been warned not to take voters to polling stations on the day of election. “Do not get your vehicles blown up as a consequence,” read a pamphlet.
Bajaur political agent Shakeel Qadir Khan said he was satisfied with the arrangements, adding that security measures had been taken to ensure that the polling was conducted in a peaceful manner. He said the paramilitary troops had been deployed to assist the Bajaur Levy Force in maintaining law and order.
“The government will not ban protest rallies, but nobody or group will be allowed to disturb the elections,” Mr Khan said, adding that Jamaat-i-Islami leaders had assured the administration that its workers would not disrupt the electoral process. The Frontier Corps and Bajaur Levy Force backed by Armoured Personnel Carrier had been deployed at sensitive places.