KARACHI, Feb 2: The joint candidate of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy on a vacant national assembly seat NA-250, Nafees Ahmed Siddiqui, has demanded deployment of army in and outside the polling stations on February 10 to ensure peace and transparent polling on the day of by-election.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, he said he wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner apprising him about his concern on the law and order situation. He demanded deployment of Rangers or paramilitary forces in the polling stations and posting of federal government staff instead of provincial government employees as polling staff.

He said the election commission authorities told him that 50 per cent of the polling staff would be from provincial government and the remaining staff would comprise federal government employees.

He also demanded the Corps Commander and the DG Rangers to deploy army and Rangers personnel inside and outside the polling stations.

Unlike the candidate of ruling coalition, he said, he was not provided with the details of polling stations and staff. He urged the election commission to provide him the details by February 5 and furnish the list of split booths till February 6.

Mr Siddiqui said out of 145 polling stations, some 54 polling stations were sensitive where chances of rigging were high. He asked the election commission to impose a ban on the entry of chief minister and other ministers in any polling station on the day of polling.

He said the deployment of army or paramilitary forces was necessary to ensure free, fair and impartial elections.

He made it clear that he would not boycott the by-poll on any pretext and said he had never demanded postponement. He condemned the demand made by the Sindh government for the postponement of the by-election on the pretext of security reasons.

Terming the by-election a test case for the government as well as the election commission, the PPP leader said it would set the direction of the general elections and show the sincerity of government in holding free and transparent elections.

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