President of Awami National Party (ANP) Asfandyar Wali Khan. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The left leaning Awami National Party (ANP) Monday threatened to take legal action against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for its decision of decreasing security protocol of its leaders, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to media representatives outside the Parliament House in Islamabad, ANP leader Senator Zahid Khan said the party has requested for added security and written a letter to the Election Commission to review its decision.

“We will register an FIR against the ECP if any of our leaders gets hurt due to lack of security provided,” said Khan.

He questioned whether appointments and transfers of government employees was the sole responsibility of the Election Commission.

Commenting on the caretaker government, the ANP leader said it seems as if the interim government is installed to enjoy ‘honeymoon.’

Khan vowed to contest the May 11 elections and said the party will also launch protests against the ECP. He urged the commission to treat all political parties with parity.

ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan also called for provision of adequate security to the party leaders, members and contestants to ensure free, fair and transparent polls.

The demand was made in a letter written by him to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim.

The copies of the letter were also sent to the president, prime minister, chief justice of Pakistan and chief ministers of all four provinces.

The party is of the opinion that the coming polls will not be free and fair, if the terrorists are allowed to influence and determine the results and the Election Commission fails to take timely notice of it.

Meanwhile, taking notice of the reservations shown on the issue by ANP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the interior ministry had called an urgent meeting on Monday to review security arrangements across the country.

The meeting follows two bomb attacks in Swat and Charsadda on Sunday targeting leaders of the ANP. One party leader was killed in the Swat bombing, while another was injured in the attack in Charsadda.

Both attacks were claimed by the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has vowed to target the three leading secular parties of the country – ANP, MQM and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Last week, a MQM candidate was gunned down in Hyderabad in an attack also claimed by the Taliban militants.

Senator Haji Adeel of ANP also raised same questions in today’s Senate session saying the interim government and the ECP would be held responsible of any harm to his fellow leaders.

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