Punjab's top bureaucracy expresses inability to hold timely elections in province

Punjab's top bureaucracy expresses inability to hold timely elections in province

Chief Secretary Punjab Zahid Akhtar Zaman and Inspector General Punjab Police Usman Anwar Wednesday showed reluctance in conducting peaceful elections in the province immediately, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja presided meeting over the conduction of a peaceful general election in the province.

Chief Secretary Punjab said that according to the requirements of the Election Commission, a force of around 412854 men is needed for the conduction of peaceful elections and Punjab police have only 115000 men in the force which creates a deficit of around 300000 men. To make up this shortfall, the services of the Pakistan Army and Rangers will be needed and their deployments are indispensable for the conduction of peaceful elections.

He ensured that the transparent conduct of the election will be done keeping in mind the instructions of the Election Commission and the observance of the constitution and laws. He said that the provincial government has started preparations for the by-polls of the National Assembly, a security plan for the general elections and installation of CCTV cameras at sensitive polling stations and also said that control rooms will be established in every district across the province.

While talking about the severe danger of terrorism in the province, he said that Law enforcement agencies are highly needed to maintain law and order. Quoting the rallies during the polls, the start of the census in March, exams in schools and the polio campaign, he said that availability of staff will be difficult.

Chief Secretary Zaman urged that the Election Commission gets the elections of both the national and provincial government on the same day otherwise the expense on the polls will be doubled and the law enforcement agencies will also not be able to provide fool-proof security. While quoting the expense of the conduction of peaceful elections, he said that the cost will be a whopping Rs42 billion.

Chief Election Commissioner said that the appointment of neutral officers during the elections is very necessary. The provincial Government must ensure that the elections in the province are held in a free, fair and peaceful environment.

IG Punjab Usman Anwar said that the police were attacked in the Mianwali district and police operations are ongoing in southern Punjab and other districts as well. It will be a difficult task to conduct the provincial assembly elections in the province till the police operation is completed, said IG Punjab