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TIMERGARA: District election officer Noor Said Khan said on Wednesday that all necessary arrangements had been finalised for Feb 20 re-polling on local government seats in Lower Dir district.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said that a total of 74 polling stations, including 10 for women, had been set up in Lower Dir where re-polling would be held for two tehsil council wards, 13 seats of general councillors, one peasant worker and five youth councillors’ seats.

He said that 580 male and female staff had been appointed and security arrangements made in all polling stations. He asked the political parties and contesting candidates to run a special campaign for women’s participation during the re-polling in the district.

Earlier polls were declared as void because of low turnout of women

The Election Commission of Pakistan had declared the by-elections of local government held on Dec 21 and 28, 2017 as void due to low turnout of women voters in various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Lower Dir. The ECP also notified that re-polling in the concerned councils would be held on Feb 20.

A notification issued by the ECP on Feb 6 said that re-polling would be held on all 45 seats, including tehsil council wards, village councils’ general seats, peasant workers, women and youth councillor seats, in eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Buner, Shangla, Swat, Lakki Marwat, Bannu and Kohat where women did not participate or their turnout remained low during the LG by-polls held on Dec 21 and 28 last year.

Meanwhile, sources said that Lower Dir chapter of Jamaat-i-Islami, which had earlier announced to challenge the ECP decision in the apex court, had changed its mind and decided to participate in the scheduled re-polling.

In one case, the defeated candidates in Shahikhel tehsil council ward had filed a writ petition in the Peshawar High Court against the unofficial winning JI candidate Gul Hakim and finance minister Muzaffar Said for allegedly using government resources and stopping women from voting. The case is still under trial, while the ECP has not notified the winning candidate so far.

TRAFFIC EDUCATION: Traffic police in-charge Shad Mohammad and traffic officer Hashmatullah briefed the students of different private schools on traffic rules here the other day.

Both the officials visited various schools and academies in Timergara and informed the students about traffic rules, signals and zebra crossing. The officials asked the students to carefully cross the road in rush hours. They said that in many cases students were hit by motorists because neither the drivers nor the students take care of traffic rules.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2018