Govt to deploy 259,000 police personnel for election duty


–CM Askari reviews security situation ahead of polls

— High-level meeting devises strategies to deal with dengue, flooding

LAHORE: Punjab caretaker government on Saturday decided to deploy at least 259,000 police personnel across the provincial capital for election duty.

Reviewing arrangements for the forthcoming polls during a high-level meeting held here, the government also decided to provide security detail to political figures, public gatherings and rallies, keeping in view the threats being received by certain political players.

Addressing the meeting, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari directed an indiscriminate action against violators of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) code of conduct and said divisional and district administrations, as well as the police, should take an immediate action in this regard.

“The election code of conduct should be implemented strictly and transparent as well as peaceful holding of the general elections is our joint responsibility. Everybody should discharge their duties with honesty and dedication… only then can we discharge our national duty in an effective manner,” said CM Askari, while also directing to pay special attention to the law and order situation across the province.

Officials concerned, at the occasion, informed the chief minister that Section 144 had been imposed across Punjab for the implementation of elections code of conduct and the Cabinet Committee for Law and Order was reviewing the security situation in the province on a daily basis.

They also informed that 47,473 polling stations would be set up for 141 seats of the National Assembly and 297 seats of the provincial assembly, while a mechanism to work with Pakistan Army, Rangers and other security agencies for peaceful holding of the polls had been given a final shape.

It was told that there were 6,335 A-category polling stations, 16,944 B-category polling stations and 24,201 C-category polling stations. As many as 2,832 violations of the code of conduct had been reported across the province so far and actions had been taken as per law.

Earlier, the chief minister reviewed arrangements for the strict implementation of government’s dengue control plan and said that averting dengue outbreak was a big challenge.

Discussing other administrative challenges that the caretaker setup might have to deal with, the chief minister said the decided plan for dengue control should be implemented in a bid to prevent the deadly disease from spreading.

The chief minister, at the occasion, was informed that 43,226 mosquito nets had already been stocked and surveillance teams were working around the clock. The meeting was also told that no deaths due to dengue had been reported in the ongoing year so far and the suspected cases of dengue were less as compared to 2017.

The meeting also reviewed arrangements to deal with floods and it was decided that protective embankments of rivers would constantly be monitored in this regard.

The interim chief minister said that no stone should be left unturned in the arrangements to manage flooding and monsoon rains. “The departments have set a good example by showing excellent performance during heavy rains. It proves that we can get good results with teamwork,” he added.

The meeting was informed that 854 boats, 17,968 life jackets, 4,050 life rings, 1,437 dewatering sets, 48,799 tents, 21,620 blankets, 52 boat trollies, 30 generators, 49,939 plastic mats had already been stocked to deal with any untoward situation.

Among those who attended the meeting were provincial ministers including Zafar Mehmood, Shaukat Javed, Jawwad Sajid and Saeedullah Babar while Punjab chief secretary, additional chief secretary, additional chief secretary (home), Board of Revenue senior members, IGP and senior officers of departments concerned also attended the meeting. Commissioners and RPOs participated in the meeting via video-link.


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