A severe lack of funds provided to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police force in the run-up to the elections has raised fears that security arrangements for the polls – just six days away – in the province will be greatly affected. Police high-ups told media on Thursday that despite the police department submitting a Rs369 million election budget proposal to the provincial government, only Rs169m had been released, an amount they believe is insufficient to provide adequate security for the election exercise.
KP Inspector General (IG) Mohammad Tahir, in an interview to a TV channel said that of the 12,069 polling stations in the province, 3,174 had been declared ‘highly sensitive’, while 4,539 had been accorded ‘sensitive’ status. Police officials have said that almost 52,000 police personnel will perform duties on election day.
In addition to patrolling, personnel will be deployed at ‘highly sensitive’ and ‘sensitive’ polling stations to ensure security and maintain law and order, the KP IG said. Funds will be required for security arrangements during poll campaigns, and on election day for transportation, accommodation, provision of the necessary security equipment and security for political leaders, police officials said.
They said that the funds released are less than those released for the 2013 general election, in which Rs243m had been handed to police for security arrangements across KP. The officials said that if the required funds were not released, election security arrangements would be affected.