ISLAMABAD: Secretary General Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Farhatullah Babar and Secretary General Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari have urged that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to reconsider its decision of posting troops inside polling stations in NA-205 Ghotki in the interest of free and fair elections.
Farhatullah Babar and Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari stated this on Friday while addressing a press conference at the PPP Media Office Islamabad along with Nazir Dhoki and Capt (r) Wasif Syed.
Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that the elections in Ghotki have already been postponed for five days as initially, it was to be held on July 18 but they will now be held on July 23. Holding elections is the sole responsibility of Election Commission of Pakistan and army should not be deployed within the polling stations, he demanded.
Farhatullah Babar said that how the elections can be called free, fair and transparent when voting is conducted under the gaze of troops having guns slinging of their shoulders. He said that official APP report says that there are a total of 289 polling stations in NA-205 Ghotki out of which 125 have been declared extremely sensitive and 164 sensitive which means every polling station will be manned by troops.
He said, “The PPP is surprised over this decision. Even in elections in tribal areas, not all polling stations have been declared sensitive despite the fact that recently this area was termed as ‘petri dish of international terrorism’ but all the polling stations in Ghotki have been declared either extremely sensitive or sensitive where troops will be deployed inside the polling stations.”
The SG PPPP further said that declaring polling stations sensitive is obviously based on reports of state’s security agencies. It is apprehended that some agencies may have deliberately created misperception of exaggerated security threat in Ghotki to justify posting of troops inside polling stations. If that is so then it would raise some serious questions on the conduct of July 23 polls in Ghotki.
Farhatullah Babar said that the PPP is opposed to posting of troops inside polling stations anywhere, any time. He urged the ECP to reconsider the decision of posting troops inside polling stations in NA-205, in the interest of vote-cast in a free and fair manner.
Secretary-General PPPP has also addressed a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner in this connection. The letter was received by the ECP.