PESHAWAR: A total of 77,389 security personnel will be deployed to ensure peace at more than 11,000 polling stations across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The information was disclosed during a meeting chaired by caretaker Chief Minister retired Justice Dost Mohammad Khan about the election security arrangements here at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Wednesday.

Provincial chief secretary Kamran Naveed Baloch, inspector general of police Mohammad Tahir, Frontier Corps IG Liaquat Ali Khan and other senior officials attended the meeting.

Of 11,132 polling stations in province, 2,572 most sensitive and 4,427 sensitive, officials tell CM

DIG (operations) Mohammad Ali Babakhel briefed participants about security requirements and preparations for the July 25 elections.

The meeting was informed that the province had 11,132 polling stations and of them, 2,572 had been declared the most sensitive, 4,427 sensitive and 4,136 normal.

The officials said 10,351 closed-circuit television cameras would be installed at 2,572 most sensitive polling stations and 7,779 polling booths, while administrations in all districts were finalising things in that respect.

They said those cameras would be installed at the most sensitive polling stations and polling booths each.

The officials said 10 security personnel each would be deployed for the security of the most sensitive polling stations, while 25,720 personnel would be deployed to protect 2,572 most sensitive polling stations.

They said seven security personnel would be deployed at each sensitive polling station, 30,989 at 4,427 sensitive polling stations and 20,680 at 4136 normal polling stations, while five personnel would be deployed at each normal polling station.

The officials said the police department would ‘borrow’ 36,217 personnel from the federal government forces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan police, Frontier Constabulary and Levies, and 14,257 from the provincial government’s other departments.

A statement issued here said the caretaker chief minister ordered the establishment of a complaint and response centre and alternative security plan for the upcoming general elections in the province.

He also asked the authorities to make up for the missing facilities, ensure strict surveillance, deployment of police personnel on sensitive points supported by CCT cameras and consolidate all resources for the peaceful, transparent and free and fair elections.

The CM told them to take care of all sensitive areas and weaknesses in overall security and election preparations.

He said drone cameras should be secured to properly monitor the whole elections with particular reference to the polling day, counting and recounting exercises.

He called for strict vigilance by police and to ensure constant surveillance of sensitive points.

The CM issued directions for take measures to avert any untoward situation on elections and said meetings should be conducted with the political parties to sensitise them to the security related issues.

He ordered provision of security to all public meetings and rallies and political figures.

The CM ordered preemptive measures against violence related events in female polling stations throughout the province.

The meeting was told about the combined and coordinated approach by judiciary, administrative and police supported by the intelligence agencies to conduct elections peacefully and transparently.

The CM said he had already ordered the relocation of FC to support the police in the security related matters in the province.

The other steps included the provision of vehicles for the election commission duty, provision of ambulances and alternate arrangements to meet any power shutdown during elections.

He ordered extra precautionary measures for elections and said the home department should have security guidelines so that the situation could not be exploited by anyone.

“The police need to be more sensitive to the deceptive threats to thwart any subversive activity,” he said.

Retired Justice Dost Mohammad said he would speak to the prime minister about the Frontier Constabulary regarding the redeployment of the Frontier Constabulary in the province and asked participants to sit with experts for the better understanding the actual role of the FC in light of the law.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018