Troops deployed before Nov 19 polls

November 17, 2015


KARACHI: In view of the tense situation in Badin where former home minister of the PPP Dr Zulfikar Mirza has come in a direct clash with his old party leadership by fielding candidates against those nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Election Commission of Pakistan as a precautionary measure on Monday annou­nced deployment of military/ paramilitary troops in the district.

The polling, according to the second phase of the elections schedule, will be held on Nov 19 in 14 of the 15 districts in Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas divisions.

In Sanghar district, elections were postponed after reports of an expected clash between PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional supporters as a sequel of the Khairpur violence that claimed the life of 13 people mostly belonging to the PML-F.

After the postponement of the polls in Sanghar, the military/paramilitary forces were shifted to Badin to beef up security there and keep the tense situation under control. In its notification, dated Nov 14, the Election Commission of Pakistan stated: “The deployment of military/paramilitary forces will be made with effect from Nov 16 in Badin district whereas rest of the 13 districts [as Sanghar has now been excluded from the local government elections scheduled to be held 19-11-2015] will be made from the 18th of this month.”

Five SSPs in Badin for poll security

The Sindh government has decided to send five senior police officers to ensure maximum security during the local government election in Badin district on Nov 19, it emerged on Monday.

Badin has been declared a ‘sensitive’ district and security there has been doubled after the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan announced postponement of the polls in another sensitive district, Sanghar.

While police in a district is headed by an SSP-rank officer, sources told Dawn that the provincial authorities decided to depute at least five senior superintendents of police (SSPs) in Badin, which meant security in each taluka would be supervised by one SSP each. Besides, policemen from other districts where LG polls had already taken place would be called for security duty in Badin.

Meanwhile, Sindh Inspec­tor General of Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali on Monday held a meeting at the central police office to review the contingency plan for the second phase of the LG elections. He directed all SSPs of the 14 districts where polling would be held on Nov 19 to conduct a survey of all the polling stations to finalise security arrangements.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2015