PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari on Monday disclosed that the provincial government might formally request the Election Commission of Pakistan to put off the second phase of local body polls in the province until the second or third week of March due to harsh weather.

Briefing reporters regarding the police department’s performance during the year at the Central Police Office here, Mr Ansari said a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan last week discussed the second phase of the LG polls in the province.

“We [government] are going to recommend to the ECP to put off polls till second or third week of March,” he said.

The IGP said 60 per cent of the 18 districts, where polls were scheduled to be held in next month, were snow bound and it would not be an easy task to hold polls in harsh weather.

Police chief says ECP will be requested for purpose over harsh weather

He said the police had ensured security in the province despite serious concerns regarding the law and order following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Mr Ansari said the political leadership was very much concerned about the terrorist situation in the province following the US pullout from Afghanistan.

He, however, said no major incident of terrorism had taken place since since August.

“There have been incidents of terrorism but security personnel have been the target of those incidents,” he said.

The IGP said the police ensure the security of over 9,200 polling stations in the province during the recently held phase of the local body polls.

“The incidents of violence were reported at 31 polling stations only,” he said.

Mr Ansari said the police had ensured the peaceful holding of 12 anti-polio campaigns in the province throughout the year.

He said the department was striving to improve ‘thana culture’ (policing) across the province and was establishing Asaan Insaf centres in police stations.

Giving a breakdown of terrorist incidents throughout the year, the IGP said the counter-terrorism department had arrested 599 terrorists, including over 300 with head money. He also said 110 terrorists were killed in encounters with the CTD personnel.

Mr Ansari said 48 police official were also martyred in the line of duty in the year, while 44 personnel were injured.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2021

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