PESHAWAR, April 30: The caretaker government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday said it had prepared a contingency plan for the security of candidates and voters on May 11.
It, however, suggested that candidates install jammers in their vehicles to foil attacks against them by improvised explosive devices.
“We have alerted all law-enforcement agencies to terrorist threats to candidates and voters, and directed them to take concrete steps for the security of contestants and the electorate across the province and reorganise the district security branches to ensure timely information about terrorist activities,” provincial home minister Fayyaz Ahmad Toru told a news conference at Officers Mess.
Flanked by provincial information minister Musarrat Qadeem, Mr Toru said the reports of intelligence agencies had suggested that terrorists could target election campaigns of the candidates, but the government was taking all possible steps to create conducive atmosphere for elections.
He said 59 per cent of the 9,031 poling stations had been declared sensitive but the government had planned to ensure foolproof security on May 11. The minister said the candidates should install indigenous jammers in their vehicles to foil IED or suicide attacks.
He said 40 police stations were located along border areas and that was why all of them were sensitive in addition to those located in the militancy-affected districts of the province.
Mr Toru said besides other law-enforcement agencies, the government would also have full support of the army, Frontier Corps and Frontier Constabulary for the holding of free, fair and transparent elections in a peaceful atmosphere.
“However, above all public support is a must for it,” he said.
The minister said 50 platoons of Frontier Constabulary had already been handed over to the provincial government, while 3,000 additional FC personnel would be deployed in the province on the election day.
He said all 266 police stations in the province had been directed to conduct operations against anti-social elements and that was why during the last one week, at least 500 outlaws had been arrested and arms, ammunitions and explosives seized.
“We have directed police to improve local intelligence and restore peace bodies to extend full cooperation for peaceful elections,” he said.
Mr Toru said he had visited all divisions, held meetings with commissioners, police high-ups, deputy commissioners, district police officers, district revenue officers and candidates, and formed committees at different levels for peace.
He said the recent bomb blasts and targeted attacks in Peshawar and other parts of the province were a reaction of the ongoing operation against terrorists in tribal regions. The minister said the situation in Peshawar, Fata and Afghanistan was interlinked and that the challenge could be encountered by tolerance, unity and determination on part of the government and the people.
He said in Khyber Agency, Taliban and Lashkar-i-Islam had joined hands but the security forces smashed the nexus very successfully and that was why terrorists were targeting the innocent people and law-enforcement personnel in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Mr Toru said the government had offered five security guards to each candidate of their choice in the province and some of them were given additional security in light of threats to their lives.
He said more than 65 per cent attacks had been carried out against Awami National Party people during the last few weeks, 17 per cent against independent candidates and the rest against other political parties.
On the occasion, the information minister said the most of the meetings that caretaker Chief Minister Justice (r) Tariq Pervez had chaired so far focused on security issues and that the contingency plan for the security of the candidates and voters had also been finalised in line with his instructions.