APC demands army deployment in Karachi

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An all-parties conference of 22 political parties convened by the Sindh government on Tuesday called for army’s deployment in Karachi to oversee the upcoming polls.

The decision was, however, not endorsed by five parties, including the MQM and PPP. These parties said the deployment should only take place at sensitive polling stations in Karachi.

During the meeting, representatives from the MQM questioned how polls could be transparent if even campaigning was not being allowed.

Following the meeting, the Sindh chief secretary said the army could be deployed at any polling station on the request of the presiding officer.

In the run-up to the general elections there has been a wave of terrorist attacks in Karachi targeting the MQM, PPP and ANP candidates, workers and election offices.

The APC unanimously resolved that the elections must be held at all cost on May 11.

Participants of the APC, mainly comprising their provincial presidents and secretaries-general asked for deployment of army as and when required during forthcoming polls.

Caretaker Sindh Information Minister Noorul Huda Shah, Sindh chief secretary, Mohammad Ejaz Chaudhri, Sindh IGP, Shahid Nadeem Baloch and Assistant for Home Affairs to the Caretaker Sindh CM Sindh Sharafuddin Memon shared the details of the proceedings with the media at a press conference later.

“The APC called by the provincial government mainly focussed on security concerns,” Shah said.

She said despite the fact that three major contending parties were bearing the brunt of terrorists, they too along with other politicians were absolutely determined that elections must be conducted per schedule, without any delay.

Noor said the interim setup had no intention to govern for long and its main focus was holding free and fair elections in the country.