PESHAWAR: The administration has decided to provide police guards to election candidates in Peshawar division following the recent terrorist attacks against poll rallies.
The decision was made during a meeting chaired by commissioner of Peshawar division Shahab Ali Shah and attended by deputy commissioners and senior police officers of Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda districts.
The participants discussed security situation in the division and decided about the provision of police guards to election candidates and issuance of temporary prohibited bore weapon permits to the candidates until July 28.
CM tells cabinet centre to repatriate 86 FC platoons, provide 500 AJK policemen
They also decided that the candidates would be asked to inform the administration about their corner meetings and political gatherings 24 hours in advance, while venues for larger public meetings would be selected after consultation with the authorities and no objection certificates would be issued for the purpose.
The participants decided about the regular monitoring of the provincial capital’s entry and exit routes and rented houses and hotels during election campaigns.
Commissioner Shahab Ali Shah told Dawn that the number of guards to be provided to candidates would be decided in light of ‘threat perception’.
He said the candidates could get permits for hiring private guards as well.
The commissioner said the police and district administration had made necessary preparations for elections, while police and army personnel would ensure the security of polling stations on July 25.
POLICE ADVISORY: The police issued a security advisory for political parties and election candidates in the provincial capital.
The advisory said the candidates would inform the relevant police stations about their corner meetings and smaller gatherings a day in advance, while the political parties would let the police know about the arrival of their national leader in such events three days in advance.
It said political parties should deploy eight to 10 local workers to body-search people entering their public meetings as a measure of counterterrorism, while the police would help them besides providing sniffer dogs and bomb disposal unit for the purpose.
The advisory asked parties and candidates to hold rallies in walled premises instead of main roads and open areas and said candidates should also keep their movement secret.
It also called for the video-recording of all such gatherings to ensure security.
CABINET MEETING: The caretaker cabinet held an emergency meeting in the day to discuss the province’s overall security situation in light of bomb attack on the election rally of JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu.
A statement issued here said Chief Minister retired Justice Dost Mohammad Khan decided to form a seven-member team to investigate the bombing and said he won’t tolerate any delay in the finding of culprits.
The cabinet discussed Peshawar and Bannu bomb blasts and the level of threat alert and decided to sensitise the relevant authorities to their responsibilities for better security measures.
The chief minister said the security of political leaders and candidates and their rallies should be enhanced.
He asked the relevant officials to contact political leaders and candidates for protecting their routes and places of public meetings and rallies.
The chief minister called for advance intelligence gathering from the organisers of public meetings and rallies to ensure the requisite security.
He hinted at formally asking major political leaders to decide on their own not to conduct more than one election-related activity a day in light of growing security concerns.
“The holding of more meetings means the thinning out of security resources that could weaken the overall security shield,” he said.
He ordered the immediate completion of the geo-fencing of both Yakatut and Bannu blast sites.
He said the federal government had agreed to repatriate 86 platoons of Frontier Constabulary comprising 3,338 personnel and provide 500 trained personnel of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir police, who would be deployed in sensitive areas across the province.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2018