LAHORE: Punjab Home Minister Shaukat Javed on Monday directed the Punjab Police to beef up security and intensify around the clock patrolling to fully ensure the conduct of fair, free, impartial and peaceful general elections besides providing foolproof security to all electoral candidates across the province.
Unfolding the salient features of the final security plan at his office, Shaukat said that 47,837 army personnel will escort the election staff for the delivery of polling material of 141 national assembly and 297 Punjab assembly constituencies across Punjab.
He said that army personnel will also perform their duties at polling stations in accordance with the instructions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The home minister said that heavy contingents of 131,000 Punjab police personnel assisted by 8,500 Police Qaumi Razakar would conduct day and night patrolling in and around the polling stations.
He said that police reserves and anti-rioting force will also be at the disposal of all district police officer to meet any emergency. “Troops of Punjab Rangers will be on call to assist the civil administration in case of any untoward situation,” he said.
The minister said that the police would majorly be responsible to maintain law and order outside the polling stations. No one will be allowed to harass voters or snatch their CNICs. “The soldiers will inform their superior officers as well as the ECP about any such behaviour.”
He said the police was directed to be vigilant at those constituencies where cut-throat competition was predicted to avoid any untoward incident. “Heavy police contingents will be deployed on important roads and around the polling stations to keep the situation under control,” he said.
Shaukat said that all divisional commissioners, deputy inspectors general, deputy commissioners and district police officers had been directed to make sure the security plan was implemented in true letter and spirit. “The voter should be able to exercise his or her right to franchise without any pressure. The more people come out to vote, the more transparent the elections will be.”
He also expressed the confidence that the elections would be held in a free, fair and transparent manner in accordance with the constitutional mandate of the ECP.