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Bara not yet ‘secure’ for general elections

December 21, 2012

LANDI KOTAL, Dec 21: The political administration of Khyber Agency has sought suggestions from political parties and potential candidates to devise a viable plan for holding forthcoming general election in Bara tehsil, as the administration is in a state of confusion over the matter owing to prevailing law and order situation in the region.

In this connection, leaders of various political parties held a meeting with Mohammad Nasir, assistant political agent of Bara at Khyber House on Friday.

Sources privy to the meeting told Dawn that the APA made it clear that the administration was not in a position to give them a firm assurance about holding of ‘safe’ elections in Bara due to the ongoing military operation and relentless militant activities.

The sources said that though they were provided with a list of polling stations to be established in different parts of Bara, the administration was not fully sure whether these polling stations could be made operational due to fear of militant attacks.

They said that participants of the meeting impressed upon the administration to arrange for establishing polling booths at Jalozai camp and Batta Thal, Ring road, G.T. road and Hayatabad areas of Peshawar where internally displaced families of Bara were mostly residing.

“We also apprised the administration about the Peshawar High Court’s ruling about establishment of polling stations at Jalozai camp in order to enable maximum number of Bara IDPs to cast their vote,” said a participant of the meeting.

Leaders of almost all political parties expressed their dissatisfaction over the compilation of voter list from Bara. They told the APA that in most parts of Bara eligible people were not enrolled in the list, while in some areas, bogus names were registered in the list.

“Though Christians have no presence in any part of Tirah valley, the election commission has included names of hundreds of Christians from Qambarkhel area of Tirah,” a participant told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

He said that the list was also confusing as names had been enrolled with wrong addresses and in most cases the localities had been changed without the consent of voters.

Mr Nasir assured the meeting that voters list would be rectified to the satisfaction of all stakeholders and an election plan would be devised keeping in view suggestions of leaders and candidates of all political parties.

He also said that in the light of directives of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor every effort would be made to make election process free and safe for all contesting candidates.