Pakistan Rangers(Sindh), given responsibility to maintain peace in Karachi, rose to the occasion to discharge duty with complete command, the result of which was finally seen on a polling day for PS-114 by-election, where substantial heat was generated but the end was peaceful, which did matter ultimately
Occasional verbal clashes, accusations etc; apart, which is so normal in such situations, no major incident, or even minor clashes were reported, which is really creditable.
Under instructions from its commandant, Maj-Gen. Mohammad Saeed, who had toured the city earlier, and worked on a plan, which did cause anxiety in the beginning, but the execution proved incredibly satisfactory when polling ended after nine grueling hours.
Some 7,000 workforce was deployed in 92 polling stations in a constituency, spreading from Mahmoodabad to far-flung areas, but the Rangers chief, after consultation from senior team officials, had posted his men within and outside every polling station. He himself, alongwith leading team members, remained on toes for the major part of the day.
Even motor cycle outriders were deployed for hawk-eye vigil. One person was arrested for casting bogus vote, but he was declared insane later. PPP nominee Saeed Ghani claimed him his relation.
Hectic activity, feverish rather, was witnessed throughout the day as top party leaders, including MNA Dr Arif Alvi, Imran Ismail, of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Dr Farooq Sattar, MNA and head of MQM Pakistan, his second in command, Amir Khan, Mahfoozyar Khan, MPA, and several others from the a party, facing difficult times for almost a year, were there.
Likewise, Senator Saeed Ghani, Peoples Party nominee, Nawaz Sharif’s front man, Talal Chaudhury who had flown to Karachi especially for the occasion to guard his party’s interest, remaled alert. How could a firebrand Sheikh Rashid, supporting Imran Khan’s PTI, could be left behind. He was in Karachi too.
They all were seen supervising the arrangement for their respective parties, remaining vigilant against any eventuality.
Complaints were, however, there against Election Commission, but the authority vested with ensuring fair and free voting, remained alert all the time.
Ballot boxes, ink pads, ballot papers were all supplied well in time, and although voices were heard against its alleged weaknesses, no major complaint came from anywhere. Some feeble or muted words were heard against it by MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar.
This was nothing, when viewed in historical perspective, when there were massive allegations against election commission of bias and prejudice against one party or the other. Saeed Ghani did charge MQM leader Amir Khan of barging into the polling station, which was against law, but such minor accusations are quite normal and need not be given importance.