ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought enhanced deployment of Rangers for the upcoming by-elections on 20 provincial assembly seats of Punjab.

In a letter addressed to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah with the signatures of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, the Commission has also asked for deployment of Rangers inside polling stations in five sensitive constituencies in Punjab and National Assembly constituen cy NA-245 in Karachi.

It points out that the present atmosphere in the 20 Constituencies where by-elections are scheduled on July 27 is politically charged.

The Commission referred to its experience with the recently conducted by-election in NA-240 (Korangi-II) and the phase-I of the elections for local governments in Sindh both of which were marred by violent incidents.

It said on many occasions numerical inadequacies coupled with lack of proper training and resources made the police unable to take timely actions.

“The presence of militant elements in certain parties has increased this risk manifold,” it added.

“Keeping in view the law and order situation of the areas/constituencies, it is reiterated that the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) / Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) be deployed, in static mode in sensitive four constituencies of Lahore and one each in Multan and NA-245 Karachi and enhanced QRF for other 15 constituencies in Punjab, so that the bye elections in the constituencies could be conducted peacefully, fairly and to guard against any untoward situation”, it says.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2022

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