KARACHI: Sindh interim cabinet on Friday decided to install 4154 surveillance cameras at highly sensitive polling stations to record polling proceedings.
The decision was made during a meeting that was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Fazal-ur-Rehman here at New Sindh Secretariat. The meeting was attended by caretaker provincial ministers, Chief Secretary Major (r) Azam Suleman, Sindh Inspector General Police (IGP)Amjad Javed Saleemi and concerned provincial secretaries.
The chief minister said that the main task of the caretaker government is to pave way for free, fair and transparent election by providing all the basic facilities and maintain law and order. “We have to maintain public order, pre-empt terrorist threats and implement the code of conduct”, he said.
Fazal-ur-Rehman said that the caretaker government has to ensure pre-poll and polling day security measures and security of polling staff and material.
The chief secretary briefed the cabinet and said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) through divisional and district administration has identified 4,154 high sensitive polling stations in Sindh including 1977 in Karachi, 1206 in Hyderabad, 176 in Mirpurkhas, 124 in Shaheed Benazir, 289 Sukkur and 382 in Larkana.
He said that there would be around 17606 polling stations, of them 4350 are most sensitive, 7999 sensitive and 5257 normal.
The cabinet discussed the security arrangements of all the polling stations and decided to install surveillance cameras along with the arrangement of generators at all the polling station in case of power outage. The cabinet directed the finance department to release Rs600 million for installation of cameras and the generators.
Sindh IGP, while giving a presentation to the cabinet, said that general law and order situation in the province is satisfactory, however, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies are constantly conveying threats. He added that the political environment due to general election may also cause law and order situation, including clashes between political groups.
On this, the chief minister said that nobody would be allowed to take the law into his hands.
He said that there is a potential threat of terrorism during the elections but all the law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies were working on close coordination to thwart all kind of threats.
He said that eight policemen would be deployed at the most sensitive polling station, four at sensitive and two at the normal polling station. Under the security plan, the IGP said that a total of 106,982 policemen, including 16000 reserves would be deployed at all the polling station. He added that a force of 76,310 policemen would be deployed at polling stations and 14,672 would be on patrolling.
It was pointed out that the security of the political parties and candidates would be their own responsibility, however, Sindh police would be responsible for overall security of locality, area, venue and persons/public gathering at large.
The political leaders may, however, deploy private security guards in uniform and with licensed arms for their personal security subject, it was decided.