The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday decided to deploy armed forces personnel and Rangers for security during local government elections in the federal capital on Nov 30.
The decision was made at an important meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Sardar Raza Khan at the ECP Headquarters.
The meeting was held to review arrangements, logistics, security issues and printing of ballot papers with regards to the conduct of Local Government Elections in Islamabad. Members of the ECP, secretary interior, IG Police, chief commissioner, MD PCP, DRO Islamabad and senior officers of the ECP were present.
Agreeing to a proposal from the Islamabad IGP to deploy rangers at every polling station, the CEC said that under Article 218(3) of the Constitution, it is the duty of the ECP to conduct Local Government Elections in ICT in a free, fair and transparent manner by providing a level playing field to all the contesting candidates and political parties.
The district returning officer (DRO) briefed the ECP about the structure of the Local Government in the ICT, printing of ballot papers and other arrangements made so far in this regard.
The IGP briefed the commission about the security plan while the CEC highlighted initiatives and preventive measure taken for the implementation of the Code of Conduct issued by the ECP and additional measures adopted for ensuring just, honest and credible elections in Islamabad.
The ECP praised the steps taken by DRO, IG Police and Islamabad Administration after thorough deliberations and considering the proposals of all the participants.
The Commission, in view of the proposals, decided to send a requisition for the deployment of Army Personnel on 62 buildings considered to be highly sensitive and agreed to the security plan presented by the IG police including the deployment of Rangers at each polling station.
It was agreed that the DRO Islamabad shall decide all the complaints about change of polling stations by November 26 and no change should be made thereafter.
The ECP decided that the DRO will issue instructions to all the returning officers (ROs) to re-check the printed ballot papers before receiving, to avoid any mistakes, missing names and symbols.
The DRO was also asked to ensure that polling at all 640 polling stations is started on time at 7 am.