LAHORE: Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari has sought security cover from the provincial chief secretary and the inspector general of police for peacefully holding the election to the office of chief minister as per court order on Friday.

In a letter to the top Punjab officers on Thursday, he said as the Lahore High Court had directed him to hold the [re-]poll for the CM’s office, he required police deployment to check recurrence of any untoward incident like it happened in the previous electoral bout. He said police must be deployed not only outside the assembly building but also in the house as part of foolproof security measures.

During the last poll held on April 16, PTI MPAs, especially women lawmakers, had assaulted Mazari with plastic lotas, pulled his hair and injured him, disallowing him to conduct the polling process as the assembly’s security staff looked the other way apparently under influence of Speaker Parvez Elahi, who is a candidate in the election against Hamza Shehbaz.

He alleged in the letter that some elements were trying to obstruct the polling process and the assembly security would be unable to control the situation. In such a situation lives of the lawmakers and the staff would be in danger.

The deputy speaker was able to conduct the election only after police intervened on his request to maintain law and order in the house.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2022

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