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SHANGLA: Local residents and political leaders have demanded establishment of separate polling stations for women in the upcoming by-election on PK-23, Shangla-I, where the Election Commission of Pakistan had declared the July 25 polls null and void over low women turnout.

They said the main reason behind the low women turnout was the combined polling stations set up in the constituency.

“We demand of the ECP to set up separate polling stations for women because they cannot come to the male polling stations for casting vote as it is against the local customs and traditions,” Ali Bhash, an activist, said while talking to Dawn on Wednesday.

He said if the polling scheme was not changed and the re-election was held in the same manner then the women turnout would be like the previous one.

Shaukat Yousafzai, who won the seat in the last month’s polls, said the ECP did not listen to their demand not to set up the combined polling stations which, he added, resulted in low women turnout.

He said he was ready for the by-poll and would again win the seat.

Mr Yousafzai said he would again submit an application to the ECP for separation of the polling stations.

Abid Yaar, a local resident, said the ECP should bar the local communities from restricting women vote.

He feared the repeat of the past practice if special arrangements were not made for the women voting in the by-elections.

SALE OF ICE CREAM BANNED: The district administration on Wednesday imposed ban on sale and supply of injurious ice-cream and crust (papar) after the consumer court ordered the competent authority to do the needful.

A notification issued by the deputy commissioner’s office said the district and sessions judge of consumer camp court, Swat, had ordered the Shangla DC to ban the supply and sale of substandard ice-cream, crust, snacks and chips.

It said the ban would remain enforced for 30 days under section 144.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2018