Over 12,000 cops to guard 5,000 polling stations

RAWALPINDI: Caretaker Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Dr Hasan Askari Friday presided over a high-level meeting here at the Commissioner Office and reviewed election arrangements, law and order situation and took important decisions for holding free, fair, transparent and peaceful general election.

It was decided that 12,841 police personnel will be deployed at over 5,000 polling stations in Rawalpindi division. 6,132 cops will perform security duty in Rawalpindi district while 2,754 will be deployed in Attock district.

Similarly, 1,841 police officials will be on security duty in Jhelum and nearly 2,141 in Chakwal district.

Strict monitoring of polling stations will be carried out through CCTV cameras and district monitoring officers will monitor the steps taken for implementation of code of conduct issued by Election Commission of Pakistan.

The meeting decided to arrange an ambulance in every six kilometers radius of the polling stations.

Strategy was also finalised for the security of international observers, media people and journalists who will cover the elections.

Security plan was given final shape to ensure fool-proof security of the candidates taking part in the elections, especially the main politicians of the region.

The meeting also decided to establish heatstroke centres at polling stations in Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal districts keeping in view possible heatwave on July 25.

The chief minister directed the quarters concerned to initiate immediate action for redressal of genuine complaints of the political parties and candidates.

He said every possible step should be taken to further improve the law and order situation and the candidates should be taken into confidence for implementation of code of conduct.

The administration was directed to ensure provision of necessary facilities including clean drinking water, electricity and toilet at the polling stations.

“The use of right of franchise in a peaceful atmosphere will be ensured for the voters,” he added.

Administrative issues can be overcome by exhibiting best professional capabilities and polling day will be a performance test of the administration and police in the real sense, he added.

The CM said the arrangements should be finalised to avert any untoward situation on the polling day. Code of conduct issued by Election Commission of Pakistan must be implemented in true letter and spirit, he added.

He said timely presence of polling staff, polling material along with electricity and clean drinking water facilities should be ensured at all the polling stations. The hospitals should remain alert to deal with any emergency, he said.

Holding of peaceful elections is not an official duty but a national obligation as well, the CM said and directed the authorities to ensure best possible security arrangements for the polling day. Free and fair elections would enhance the professional reputation of the administration and police department.

The digital monitoring mechanism of the polling stations has been formed.

The incidents of aerial firing and fireworks will not be tolerated during election campaign and on election day, the CM said adding, indiscriminate action will be taken under a zero tolerance policy.

Punjab Interim Home Minister Shaukat Javed on the occasion said implementation on security plan should be ensured for the protection of all important political personalities.

Special attention should also be given to the security of public places and foreigners working in Pakistan.

Punjab Caretaker Finance Minister Zia Haider Rizvi informed the meeting that timely provision of funds will be ensured for election arrangements.

Interim Provincial Minister Sardar Tanvir Ilyas on the occasion said a focal person should be deputed to deal with any emergent situation on the polling day.

The district administration briefed the meeting that the arrangements have been finalised for the foreign observers who will monitor the election campaign.

Provision of water, electricity, toilet and other facilities will be ensured at the polling stations while vehicles will also be provided to the polling staff for their safe movement.

Special steps will be taken for special persons at polling stations including provision of ramps. Seven elected local bodies representatives have been imposed fines here while 107 others have been issued notices on the violation of code of conduct in Rawalpindi division.

Commissioner Rawalpindi division on the occasion said that the administration is performing election duties besides focusing on routine matters.

The meeting was told that all the arrangements have been finalised for safe transportation of the polling staff.

The commissioner Rawalpindi Division and RPO Rawalpindi also briefed the meeting about law and order situation and arrangements for the elections.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2018.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1763003/1-12000-cops-guard-5000-polling-stations/