PESHAWAR, Feb 4: The government has planned to deploy over 57,000 security personnel at polling stations in the NWFP where only six of the 24 districts have been declared ‘normal’ for Feb 18 general elections, according to a senior government official.

Provincial Home Secretary Badshah Gul Wazir told a pre-poll conference organised by the federal Ministry of Information here on Monday that Charsadda, Swat, Shangla, Tank and Hangu districts had been declared the ‘most sensitive’ zones in the province.

Caretaker Minister for Information Nisar A. Memon, NWFP Election Commissioner Akhtar Hussain Sabir, provincial minister Imtiaz Hussain Gillani and senior officials attended the conference, ‘Unite for Elections’, organised for journalists.

Mr Wazir said that four districts — Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan and Lower Dir — had been declared ‘very sensitive’ while Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Karak, Upper Dir, Bunner, Mansehra, Battagram and Kohistan had been placed in ‘sensitive’ category.

Only Nowshera, Swabi, Abbottabad, Haripur, Chitral and Malakand have been declared ‘normal’.

Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata), the most troubled region, did not figure in the discussion as officials of the Fata Secretariat were not present.

The home secretary said that a total of 57,733 personnel of law-enforcement agencies, including Frontier Corps and Frontier Constabulary, would be deployed to provide security to 10.6 million voters and 72,601 polling staff on the polling day and they would remain on duty after elections.

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