KP government deploys thousands of policemen as election precaution

Special KP government deploys thousands of policemen as election precaution
Pakistani policemen help election officials to carry ballot boxes at a distribution centre in Islamabad on July 24, 2018. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP)
Updated 24 July 2018

KP government deploys thousands of policemen as election precaution

KP government deploys thousands of policemen as election precaution
  • Authorities to deploy 70,000 policemen across the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police told Arab News
  • Authorities say 3,174 polling stations in KP are the most sensitive

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial government has upgraded security following recent terrorist attacks in Peshawar and other parts of the province in the run-up to Wednesday’s elections.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations in Peshawar, Javed Iqbal, told Arab News that in Peshawar, the provincial metropolis, alone, 8,300 policemen were to be deployed at polling stations.
“Besides army personnel, the most sensitive polling station would have five policemen,” said Iqbal, who supervises security in the provincial capital. He added at normal threat police stations would have three officers on duty.
He added that a reserve force of 900 policemen will be on stand-by for any emergency in the provincial capital.
“There are 14,569 polling stations all over the province and the provincial capital Peshawar alone has 1,190,” Election Commission spokesman Sohail Khan told Arab News.
He added that 14,569 presiding officers, 80,741 assistant presiding officers and 43,154 polling officers would be working on polling day in KP.
The authorities will deploy 70,000 policemen across the province, KP’s Additional Inspector General of Police Mohammad Ali Babakhel told Arab News. They have declared 3,174 polling stations in KP as being the most sensitive.
As more than 10.78 million voters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) prepare to elect their representatives, the recent terrorist attacks in different parts of KP have caused uneasiness among voters and candidates.
Polling has been deferred in two provincial assembly constituencies after candidates were killed in suicide attack.
From PK-78, Peshawar, Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Haroon Bilour died alongside at least 20 others in a suicide attack on July 10. Also from PK-99 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Ikramullah Gandapur was killed in terrorist attack on July 22.
Former KP chief minister Akram Durrani, who is battling against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan from his native Bannu district, has also survived two attacks.
“Though Bannu and DI Khan districts are also vulnerable to terrorism, Peshawar is the most sensitive district … (as it is)
the provincial capital and also close to the tribal districts,” he said.
A senior analyst based in Peshawar, Rahimullah Yusufzai, said that the situation became inflamed on July 10 when a suicide attacker struck an ANP meeting in Peshawar.
“In the 2013 election campaign, 173 people were killed in different incidents, in this election campaign, the number of casualties has exceeded 173,” he added.