PESHAWAR: The government will establish polling stations at food distribution points in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata where internally displaced persons from different tribal areas would cast their votes in the upcoming general elections.
Officials said that there were 23 food distribution hubs in the province and tribal areas from where IDPs were getting food rations. It has been decided that polling stations would be set up at the vicinity of these distribution points situated in Nowshera, Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu, Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and Kurram Agency.
The decision was taken during a high level meeting held at Governor’s House here on Thursday. Governor Engineer Shaukatullah chaired the meeting, which besides political agents and deputy commissioners was also attended by Chief Secretary Ghulam Dastagir Akhtar, Provincial Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch, Fata Additional Chief Secretary Dr Tashfin Khan and commissioners of the respective divisions.
Authorities said that that around 163,100 registered displaced families, who fled their homes in Fata owing to militancy and military operations, had been residing in and outside camps.
About 12,442 displaced families from Khyber and Bajaur agencies are living at Jalozai camp in Nowshera district.
A handout said that food distribution points meant for IDPs from South Waziristan in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank districts and New Durrani Camp in Kurram Agency and Jalozai camp in Nowshera district for the IDPs of Khyber Agency were conceded to be the best choices for establishing polling stations for the respective displaced persons.
The meeting reviewed law and order situation in Fata with special focus on holding general elections in free, fair and transparent manner. Officials said that Fata Disaster Management Authority had handed over the data of IDPs to Election Commission of Pakistan and Fata Secretariat for facilitating these bodies to prepare voter lists.
It was recommended that access should be provided to IDPs from South Waziristan, Orakzai and Kurram agencies to cast their votes during the upcoming general elections outside their respective native agencies. To make this possible, the political agents, who also act as district returning officers, will be responsible to make adequate arrangements to facilitate the respective voters.
To ensure complete transparency, the provincial election commission in collaboration with Nadra, will arrange separate lists of electorates and the entire scheme of polling in this respect will be finalised within next couple of days.
Governor Shaukatullah while noting efficient arrangements underway to ensure conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in Fata expressed the confidence that no effort would be spared by all the quarters concerned in fulfillment of the national responsibility amicably.