LANDI KOTAL: The Khyber Agency political administration has sought the assistance of Frontier Corps to ensure security of all polling stations to be established in the volatile Bara subdivision for the May 11 elections.
In a recent letter sent to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa election commissioner, the FC inspector general and Peshawar commissioner, the Khyber Agency political agent has requested that security of Bara be handed over to FC to ensure the holding of free, fair and safe elections.
The people contesting elections from NA-46, Bara have long been demanding the local administration of proper security for themselves and supporters during election campaigns and on polling day.
They have also been criticising the political administration over failure to consult them on the election security plan.
All 74 polling stations to be established for internally displaced persons in Bara, Jalozai camp in Nowshera and Durrani camp in Kurram Agency have already been declared sensitive.
The relevant officials said of those 74 polling stations, sixteen were to be established in Jalozai camp and four in Durrani camp.
They said the Khyber Agency administration had planned to establish polling stations near Shah Kas Fort for Qambarkhel and Malikdinkhel tribesmen and at Levies Centre for Sipah and Shalobar tribesmen.
The officials said Akkakhel tribesmen were to cast vote at polling stations to be established in Meel Watt area, while people from Adamkhel and Kalakhel tribes would vote for candidates of their choice in their respective localities.
They, however, said the exact location of polling stations to be established in Bara was withheld for the time being over security concerns.
The administration had earlier said it would require strong and additional security support alongside personnel of local khasadars and levies force for elections.
The official plan for election arrangements in areas under the control of Lashkar-i-Islam and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in Tirah valley has yet to be made public.
There is no official word on whether any polling station will be Khyber admin seeks FC help for safe Bara polls established in such areas.
The Khyber Agency administration had earlier sought permission of the Peshawar district management for establishing all polling stations along Ring Road and Kohat Road as majority of displaced families live there or nearby areas.
However, the request was turned down by the Peshawar district police and therefore, the Khyber Agency administration was left with no option but to arrange for polling in Bara.
Concerns of election candidates have increased in the wake of the April 8 bombing of former senator and candidate Nasir Khan’s house and the April 12 terrorist attack on the house of another candidate Munsif Ali Khan in Bar Qambarkhel.
No damage to human life was reported in the two blasts but the terrorist activities caused fear among candidates.
Except for Munsif Ali Khan from Bar Qambarkhel area in Bara, who is running his election campaign in hometown, candidates have moved out of the subdivision and established their election offices and campaign centres on the peripheries of Peshawar bordering Bara.
Faqir Mohammad, a local Lashkar-i-Islam commander, had earlier warned the residents of Bara to stay away from electioneering and warned that militants would disrupt the coming elections if the government failed to honour his demands for negotiations.