Punjab govt to provide security to election candidates, leadership of political parties

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LAHORE : Home Minister Punjab Shoukat Javed Thursday on the directive of Punjab Chief Minister Prof Dr Hasan Askari, said that foolproof security will be provided to those candidates and political leaders having serious life threats besides making arrangements for fair, free and impartial elections across the province.

In an interview, he said that the interim provincial government is responsible to provide a peaceful and conducive environment to voters during elections and protect their lives and property at every cost. He said special arrangements would be made to avert any untoward incident on the elections day and polling material would be transported to its destination under strict supervision.

Security arrangements for general elections have been completed in Punjab and the interim government is satisfied by the performance of security forces and he is determined to protect the lives and property of the masses during elections.

With regards to the impartiality of elections, he said, “We have been focusing on holding impartial polls and addressing the reservations and concerns of all political parties from the first day since the interim set-up was sworn in.”He said that question does not arise at all for supporting any one or opposing.

He said the police and the administration not to rest on their oars till the task of transparent election is achieved. Providing security to top leaders of mainstream political parties, like PPP, PTI and PML-N and other parties, should not be an extraordinary burden on the law-enforcement agencies,” he maintained.

He said equal opportunities were being provided to the candidates of all the political parties to run their election campaigns and election bylaws implemented through administration and police. He said the civil administration at district and divisional levels had been directed to address the election-related complaints immediately while the candidates should also inform the administration if they have any complaint.

He said the Punjab caretaker government had appointed all the well-reputed police officers to conduct fair elections. He said that police prepared election security plan following the directions of government and ECP. He added that the police would not influence the election process at any stage. He said he had given directions to all concerned quarters to utilize all resources maintain law and order situation during elections.

Shoukat Javed who is former IGP equipped with lifelong unblemished experience made it crystal clear that provision of peaceful atmosphere for polling will be ensured on July 25 so that voters could use their right of franchise without any fear and danger,” he said. He said “none of the candidates or political leaders will be allowed to take law in their hands and unscrupulous elements if any will be dealt severely.

He said that all possible steps will be taken so that voters could use their right of franchise independently and video cameras will be installed for monitoring the sensitive polling stations. The utilization of information technology will also be made for peaceful and transparent holding of general elections and implementation of electoral code of conduct of the Election Commission will be ensured at every cost.

Shoukat Javed said that troops of army, contingents of Pakistan Rangers and battalion of paramilitary forces besides police commandoes equipped with sophisticated weapons will assist the Election Commission of Pakistan at polling station level in addition to patrolling in all sensitive areas throughout the province.

He said that he is personally monitoring the overall performance of administration and police and no compromise on proper implementation of code of conduct issued by the election commission. He said he will never spare any official found guilty of discharge of duty.

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